Skip to main content

Full text of "Poems"

See other formats


FROM THE LIBRARY OF 
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 




MISS PROCTER'S POEMS. 



" The winning grace which characterizes Miss Procter's poems, 
their picturesque word- painting, their reverence for labor, their 
gentle pleadings for justice and mercy, with the unwavering faith 
and loving trust which they uniformly breathe, have made them 
favorites with the reading public." — Boston Journal. » 



Blue and Gold Edition. With Portrait $ 1.25 

Cabittet Edition. With Portrait 1.50 

Diamond Edition 1.00 

Red- Line Edition. With Portrait and 16 full-page 
Illustrations 3.50 



LEGENDS AND LYRICS. With Memoir by 
Charles Dickens, Portrait, and Illustrations. 4to. 
Morocco 15.00 



JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO., Publishers. 




HE 




OEMS 



OF 

// 
ADELAIDE A. PROCTER. 




BOSTON: 

JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY, 

LATE TICKNOR & FIELDS, AND FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO. 

1877. 



author's edition. • 



Univeksity Press! 

Welch, Bigelow, and Com pant, 

Cambridge. 






CONTENTS. 




"EGEXDS and Lyrics: a Book op Yerses. 

First Series 

The Angel's Story . . 
Echoes ...... 

A False Genius .... 



Page 



My Picture 14 

Judge not 16 

Friend Sorrow * 17 

One by One 18 

True Honors 19 

A Woman's Question ...... 28 

The Three Rulers 09 

A Bead Past • 30 

A Doubting Heart 31 

A Student 33 

A Knight Errant .••••• 34 

Linger, Gentle Time •••••• 36 

Homeward Bound 37 

Life and Death 44 

Now 45 

Cleansing Fires 47 

The Voice of the Wind 48 

Treasures . '. . 50 

Shining Stars 51 

Waiting 52 

The Cradle-Song of the Poor .... 54 

Be Strong 56 



CONTENTS. 

God's Gifts ........ 57 

A Tomb in Ghent 59 

The Angel of Death ...... 68 

A Dream ....••••• 69 

The Present ••••••• 70 

Changes 71 

Strive, Wait, and Pray 7Z 

A Lament for the Summer • • . • • 75 

The Unknown Grave « • 74 

Give me thy Heart 75 

The Wayside Inn 78 

Voices of the Past 84 

The Dark Side 85 

A First Sorrow 87 

Murmurs 88 

Give 90 

My Journal • •••••• 91 

A Chain 94 

The Pilgrims 95 

Incompleteness • . 96 

A Legend of Bregenz 98 

A Farewell 104 

Sowing and Reaping • • • . . • 105 

The Storm ....... 106 

Words 107 

A Love Token • • 109 

A Tryst with Death no 

Fidelis in 

A Shadow nj 

The Sailor Boy ...... 114 

A Crown of Sorrow ...... \vj 

The Lesson of the War . • <- • • • * I2 7 

The Two Spirits 130 

A Little Longer • 133 

Grief 13$ 

The Triumph of Time 1 39 

A Parting ........ 140 



CONTENTS. v 

The Golden Gate 14a 

Phantoms 14J 

Thankfulness 145 

Home-Sickness ...... . 146 

"Wishes 148 

The Peace of God 149 

Life in Death and Death in Life .... 151 

Recollections 154 

Illusion 156 

A Vision 158 

Pictures in the Fire 160 

The Settlers i6z 

Hush! 164 

Hours 165 

The Two Interpreters 167 

Comfort 169 

Home at Last 171 

Unexpressed 172 

Because 173 

Rest at Evening 175 

A Retrospect 176 

Legends and Lyrics : a Book or Verses. 

Second Series 179 

A Legend of Provence ...... 181 

Envy 192 

Over the Mountain .19? 

Beyond 194 

A Warning 196 

Maximus ........ 198 

Optimus 199 

A Lost Chord 1 ..... • 201 

Too Late 202 

The Requital 205 

Returned — " Missing " 207 

In the Wood t 209 

Two Worlds 21a 



CONTENTS. 

A New Mother • 212 

Give Place • ••••••• 221 

My Will 222 

King and Slave 224 

A Chant ........ 225 

Dream-Life • ••.•••• 227 

Rest 2z8 

The Tyrant and the Captive 230 

The Carver's Lesson 232 

Three Roses • • • 234 

My Picture Gallery 235 

Sent to Heaven • 238 

Never Again 240 

Listening Angels 241 

Golden Days 243 

Philip and Mildred ....... 244 

Borrowed Thoughts. 

I. From " Lavater " . • 256 

II. From "Phan tastes" .... 257 

III. From " Lost Alice » .... 258 

IV. From * # # . . . . . . 259 

Light and Shade ....... 260 

A Changeling 263 

Discouraged ........ 264 

If Thou couldst know 267 

The Warrior to his Dead Bride . • . .268 

A Letter 269 

A Comforter 271 

Unseen . . . . • • • • 275 

A Remembrance of Autumn . • • • • 276 

Three Evenings in a Life • • • • • 277 

The Wind ........ 292 

Expectation . • • . • • • 293 

An Ideal 294 

Our Dead 296 

A Woman's Answer • 297 

The Story of the Faithful Soul .... 299 



CONTENTS. vii 

A Contrast 303 

The Bride's Dream 305 

The Angel's Bidding 307 

Spring 309 

Evening Hymn 311 

The Inner Chamber 312 

Hearts 314 

Two Loves 316 

A Woman's Last "Word . . . • • .318 

Past and Present 319 

For the Future 320 

A Chaplet op Verses. 

The Army of the Lord ...... 331 

The Star of the Sea 336 

The Sacred Heart 337 

The Names of Our Lady 340 

A Chaplet of Flowers • 343 

Kyrie Eleison 346 

The Annunciation ...... 348 

An Appeal • ••••... 350 

The Jubilee of 1850 353 

Christmas Flowers . . . . . . .355 



A Desire 



357 



Our Daily Bread 359 

Threefold ► 360 

Confido et Conquiesco 362 

Ora pro Me 363 

The Church in 1849 ....*. 364 

Fishers of Men 365 

The Old Year's Blessing 366 

Evening Chant 368 

A Christmas Carol ....... 370 

Our Titles # 373 

Ministering Angels ....... 373 

The Shrines of Mary 374 

The Homeless Poor .... .381 



i CONTENTS. 

Milly's Expiation ...... 38! 

A Castle in the Air ....... 40a 

Per Pacem ad Lucem ...... 403 

A Legend 404 

Birthday Gifts \oi 

A Beggar 41 3 

Links with Heaven 413 

Homeless 414 




LEGENDS AND LYRICS* 

A BOOK OF VERSES. 

FIRST SERIES. 



t&Kto 



DEDICATED 

TO 

MATILDA M. HAYS, 

"Our tokens of love are for the most part barbarous. 
Cold and lifeless, because they do not represent our life. 
The only gift is a portion of thyself. Therefore let the 
farmer give his corn ; the miner a gem ; the sailor, coral 
and shells ; the painter, his picture ; and the poet, his po- 
«m." — Einerson's Essays. 

A A P. 

May, 1858. 




THE ANGEL'S STORY. 




HROUGH the blue and frosty heavens 
Christmas stars were shining bright ; 
Glistening lamps throughout the City 
Almost matched their gleaming light ; 
While the winter snow was lying, 
And the winter winds were sighing, 
Long ago, one Christmas night 

While, from every tower and steeple, 
Pealing bells were sounding clear, 

(Never with such tones of gladness, 
Save when Christmas time is near,) 

Many a one that night was merry 
Who had toiled through all the year. 

That night saw old wrongs forgiven, 

Friends, long parted, reconciled ; 
Voices all unused to laughter, 

Mournful eyes that rarely smiled, 
Trembling hearts that feared the morrow, 

From their anxious thoughts beguiled. 



THE ANGEL'S STORY. 

Rich and poor felt love and blessing 
From the gracious season fall ; 

Joy and plenty in the cottage, 
Peace and feasting in the hall ; 

And the voices of the children 
Ringing clear above it all ! 

Yet one house was dim and darkened ; 

Gloom, and sickness, and despair, 
Dwelling in the gilded chambers, 

Creeping up the marble stair, 
Even stilled the voice of mourning, — 

For a child lay dying there. 

Silken curtains fell around him, 
Velvet carpets hushed the tread, 

Many costly toys were lying, 
All unheeded, by his bed ; 

And his tangled golden ringlets 
Were on downy pillows spread. 

The skill of that mighty City 

To save one little life was vain, — 

One little thread from being broken, 

One fatal word from being spoken ; 
Nay, his very mother's pain, 

And the mighty love within her, 
Could not give him health again. 

So she knelt there still beside him, 
She alone with strength to smile, 

Promising that he should suffer 
No more in a little while, 

Murmuring tender song and story 
Weary hours to beguile. 



THE ANGEVS STORY. 

Suddenly an unseen Presence 

Checked those constant moaning cries, 
Stilled the little heart's quick fluttering, 

Kaised those blue and wondering eyes, 
Fixed on some mysterious vision, 

With a startled sweet surprise. 

For a radiant angel hovered, 

Smiling, o'er the little bed ; 
White his raiment, from his shoulders 

Snowy dove-like pinions spread, 
And a starlike light was shining 

In a Glory round his head- 
While, with tender love, the angel, 

Leaning o'er the little nest, 
In his arms the sick child folding, 

Laid him gently on his breast, 
Sobs and wailings told the mother 

That her darling was at rest. 

So the angel, slowly rising, 

Spread his wings, and through the air 
Bore the child, and, while he held him 

To his heart with loving care, 
Placed a branch of crimson roses 

Tenderly beside him there. 

While the child, thus clinging, floated 
Towards the mansions of the Blest, 

Grazing from his shining guardian 
To the flowers upon his breast, 

Thus the angel spake, still smiling 
On the little heavenly guest • 



THE ANGEL'S STORT. 

" Know, dear little one, that Heaven 
Does no earthly thing disdain, 

Man's poor joys find there an echo 
Just as surely as his pain ; 

Love, on earth so feebly striving, 
Lives divine in Heaven again ! 

" Once in that great town below us, 

In a poor and narrow street, 
Dwelt a little sickly orphan ; 

Gentle aid, or pity sweet, 
Never in life's rugged pathway 

Guided his poor tottering feet. 

« All the striving anxious forethought 
That should only come with age 

Weighed upon his baby spirit, 

Showed him soon life's sternest page ; 

Grim Want was his nurse, and Sorrow 
Was his only heritage. 

" All too weak for childish pastimes, 

Drearily the hours sped ; 
On his hands so small and trembling 

Leaning his poor aching head, 
Or, through dark and painful hours, 

Lying sleepless on his bed. 

" Dreaming strange and longing fancies 

Of cool forests far away ; 
And of rosy, happy children, 

Laughing merrily at play, 
Coming home through green lanes, bearing 

Trailing boughs of blooming May. 



THE ANGEL'S STORY. 

" Scarce a glimpse of azure heaven 
Gleamed above that narrow street, 

And the sultry air of summer 

(That you call so warm and sweet) 

Fevered the poor orphan, dwelling 
In the crowded alley's heat. 

"One bright day, with feeble footsteps 
Slowly forth he tried to crawl, 

Through the crowded city's pathways, 
Till he reached a garden-wall, 

Where 'mid princely halls and mansions 
Stood the lordliest of all. 

" There were trees with giant branches, 
Velvet glades where shadows hide ; 

There were sparkling fountains glancing, 
Flowers, which in luxuriant pride 

Even wafted breaths of perfume 
To the child who stood outside. 

" He against the gate of iron 

Pressed his wan and wistful face, 

Gazing with an awe-struck pleasure 
At the glories of the place ; 

Never had his brightest day-dream 
Shone with half such wondrous grace. 

" You were playing in that garden, 
Throwing blossoms in the air, 

Laughing when the petals floated 
Downwards on your golden hair ; 

And the fond eyes watching o'er you, 

And the splendor spread before you, 
Told a House's Hope was there. 



io TEE ANGEL'S STORY. 

" When your servants, tired of seeing 
Such a face of want and woe, 

Turning to the ragged orphan, 
Gave him coin, and bade him go, 

Down his cheeks so thin and wasted 
Bitter tears began to flow. 

" But that look of childish sorrow 
On your tender child-heart fell, 

And you plucked the reddest roses 
From the tree you loved so well, 

Passed them through the stern cold grating, 
Gently bidding him * Farewell ! ' 

" Dazzled by the fragrant treasure 
And the gentle voice he heard, 

In the poor forlorn boy's spirit, 
Joy, the sleeping Seraph, stirred; 

In his hand he took the flowers, 
In his heart the loving word. 

" So he crept to his poor garret ; 

Poor no more, but rich and bright, 
For the holy dreams of childhood — 

Love, and Rest, and Hope, and Light — 
Floated round the orphan's pillow 

Through the starry summer night. 

" Day dawned, yet the visions lasted ; 

All too weak to rise he lay ; 
Did he dream that none spake harshly, — 

All were strangely kind that day ? 
Surely then his treasured roses 

Must have charmed all ills <iway. 



THE ANGEL'S STORY | 

* And he smiled, though they were fading ; 

One by one their leaves were shed ; 

• Such bright things could never perish, 

They would bloom again/ he said. 
When the next day's sun had risen 
Child and flowers both were dead. 

" Know, dear little one ! our Father 

Will no gentle deed disdain : 
Love on the cold earth beginning 

Lives divine in Heaven again, 
While the angel hearts that beat there 

Still all tender thoughts retain." 

So the angel ceased, and gently 

O'er his little burthen leant; 
While the child gazed from the shining, 

Loving eyes that o'er him bent, 
To the blooming roses by him, 

Wondering what that mystery meant. 

Thus the radiant angel answered, 
And with tender meaning smiled : 

" Ere your childlike, loving spirit, 
Sin and the hard world defiled, 

God has given me leave to seek you, — 
I was once that little child ! " 



In the church-yard of that city 
Rose a tomb of marble rare, 

Decked, as soon as Spring awakened, 
With her buds and blossoms fair, — • 

And a humble grave beside it, — 
No one knew who rested there. 




I* ECHOES. 



ECHOES. 

TILL the angel stars are shining 
Still the rippling waters flow, 
But the angel-voice is silent 
That I heard so long ago. 
Hark ! the echoes murmur low, 
Long ago ! 

Still the wood is dim and lonely, 
Still the plashing fountains play, 

But the past and all its beauty, 
Whither has it fled away ? 
Hark ! the mournful echoes say, 
Fled away ! 

Still the bird of night complaineth, 
(Now, indeed, her song is pain,) 

Visions of my happy hours, 
Do I call and call in vain ? 
Hark ! the echoes cry again, 
All in vain! 

Cease, echoes, mournful echoes/ 
Once I loved your voices well ; 

Now my heart is sick and weary. — 
Days of old, a long farewell ! 
Hark ! the echoes sad and dreary 
Cry farewell, farewell ! 




A FALSE GENIUS. 



A FALSE GENIUS. 



See a Spirit by thy side, 
Purple-winged and eagle-eyed, 
Looking like a heavenly guide. 



Though he seem, so bright and fair, 
Ere thou trust his proffered care, 
Pause a little, and beware ! 

If he bid thee dwell apart, 
Tending some ideal smart 
In a sick and coward heart ; 

In self-worship wrapped alone, 
Dreaming thy poor griefs are grown 
More than other men have known ; 

Dwelling in some cloudy sphere, 
Though God's work is waiting here, 
And God deigneth to be near ; 

If his torch's crimson glare 
Show thee evil everywhere, 
Tainting all the wholesome air ; 

While with strange distorted choice, 
Still disdaining to rejoice, 
Thou wilt hear a wailing voice ; 



i 4 MY PICTURE, 

If a simple, humble heart 
Seem to thee a meaner part 
Than thy noblest aim and art ; 

If he bid thee bow before 
Crowned Mind and nothing more, 
The great idol men adore ; 

And with starry veil enfold 
Sin, the trailing serpent old, 
Till his scales shine out like gold ; 

Though his words seem true and wise^ 
Soul, I say to thee, Arise, 
He is a Demon in disguise ! 



MY PICTUEE. 




TAND this way — more near the win- 
dow — 

By my desk — you see the light 
Falling on my picture better — 

Thus I see it while I write ! 



Who the head may be I know not, 

But it has a student air ; 
With a look half sad, half stately, 

Grave sweet eyes and flowing hair. 



MY PICTURE. 13 

Little care I who the painter, 

How obscure a name he bore ; 
Nor, when some have named Velasquei^ 

Did I value it the more. 

As it is, I would not give it 

For the rarest piece of art ; 
It has dwelt with me, and listened 

To the secrets of my heart. 

Many a time, when to my garret, 

Weary, I returned at night, 
It has seemed to look a welcome 

That has made my poor room bright 

Many a time, when ill and sleepless, 
I have watched the quivering gleam 

Of my lamp upon that picture, 
Till it faded in my dream. 

When dark days have come, and friendship 
Worthless seemed, and life in vain, 

That bright friendly smile has sent me 
Boldly to my task again. 

Sometimes when hard need has pressed in* 

To bow down where I despise, 
I have read stern words of counsel 

In those sad, reproachful eyes. 

Nothing that my brain imagined, 
Or my weary hand has wrought, 

But it watched the dim Idea 

Spring forth into armed Thought. 



16 JUDGE NOT. 

It has smiled on my successes, 

Eaised me when my hopes were low, 

And by turns has looked upon me 
With all the loving eyes I know. 

Do you wonder that my picture 
Has become so like a friend ? — 

It has seen my life's beginnings, 
It shall stay and cheer the end ! 



JUDGE NOT. 




iJTJDGE not ; the workings of his brain 
And of his heart thou canst not see", 
What looks to thy dim eyes a stain, 
In God's pure light may only be 
A scar, brought from some well-won field, 
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield. 

The look, the air, that frets thy sight, 

May be a token, that below 
The soul has closed in deadly fight 

With some infernal fiery foe, 
Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace, 
And cast thee shuddering on thy face ! 

The -fall thou darest to despise — 
May be the angel's slackened hand 

Has suffered it, that he may rise 
And take a firmer, surer stand ; 

Or, trusting less to earthly tilings, 

May henceforth learn to use his wings. 




FRIEND SOh^dW. 17 

And judge none lost ; but waiv <nA see, 

With hopeful pity, not disdain ; 
The depth of the abyss may be 

The measure of the height of pain 
And love and glory that may raise 
This soul to God in after days ! 



FRIEND SORROW. 

not cheat thy Heart and tell her. 
" Grief will pass away, 
Hope for fairer times in future, 
And forget to-day." — 
Tell her, if you will, that sorrow 

Need not come in vain ; 
Tell her that the lesson taught her 
Far outweighs the pain. 

Cheat her not with the old comfort, 

" Soon she will forget," — 
Bitter truth, alas ! but matter 

Rather for regret ; 
Bid her not " Seek other pleasures, 

Turn to other things " : — 
Rather nurse her caged sorrow 

Till the captive sings. 

Rather bid her go forth bravely, 

And the stranger greet ; 
Not as foe, with spear and buckler, 

But as dear friends meet ; 



ig ONE BY ONE. 

Bid her with a strong clasp hold her, 

By her dusky wings, 
Listening for the murmured blessing 

Sorrow always brings. 



ONE BY ONE. 




NE by one the sands are flowing, 
One by one the moments fail ; 
Some are coming, some are goings 
Do not strive to grasp them all. 

One by one thy duties wait thee, 
Let thy whole strength go to each, 

Let no future dreams elate thee, 

Learn thou first what these can teach. 

One by one (bright gifts from Heaven) 

Joys are sent thee here below ; 
Take them readily when given, 

Beady too to let them go. 

One by one thy griefs shall meet thee, 

Do not fear an armed band ; 
One will fade as others greet thee ; 

Shadows passing through the land. 

Do not look at life's long sorrow ; 

See how small each moment's pain , 
God will help thee for to-morrow, 

So each day bcgii> again. 



TRUE HONORS. 

Every hour that fleets so slowly 
Has its task to do or bear ; 

Luminous the crown, and holy, 
When each gem is set with care. 

Do not linger with regretting, 
Or for passing hours despond ; 

Nor, the daily toil forgetting, 
Look too eagerly beyond. 

Hours are golden links, God's token, 
Beaching heaven ; but one by one 
Take them, lest the chain be broken 
• Ere the pilgrimage be done. 



TRUE HONORS. 

]S my darling tired already, 
Tired of her day of play ? 
Draw your little stool beside me, 
Smooth this tangled hair away. 
Can she put the logs together, 

Till they make a cheerful blaze 1 
Shall her blind old Uncle tell her 
Something of his youthful days ? 

Hark ! The wind among the cedars 
Waves their white arms to and fro ; 

I remember how I watched them 
Sixty Christmas Days ago : 

Then I dreamt a glorious vision 
Of great deeds to crown each year ? 



*9 




TRUE HONORS. 

Sixty Christmas Days have found me 
Useless, helpless, blind — and here ! 

Yes, I feel my darling stealing 

Warm soft fingers into mine: 
Shall I tell her what I fancied 

In that strange old dream of mine ? 
I was kneeling by the window, 

Reading how a noble band, 
"With the red cross on their breastplates, 

Went to gain the Holy Land. 

While with eager eyes of wonder 

Over the dark page I bent, 
Slowly twilight shadows gathered 

Till the letters came and went ; 
Slowly, till the night was round me ; 

Then my heart beat loud and fast, 
For I felt before I saw it 

That a spirit near me passed. 

Then I raised my eyes, and, shining 

Where the moon's first ray was bright, 
Stood a winged Angel-warrior 

Clothed and panoplied in light : 
So, with Heaven's love upon him, 

Stern in calm and resolute will, 
Looked St. Michael, — does the picture 

Hang in the old cloister still ? 

Threefold were the dreams of honor 
That absorbed my heart and brain; 

Threefold crowns the Angel promised, 
Each one to be bought by pain : 



TRUE HOXORS. i 

Wliile he spoke, a threefold blessing 

Fell upon my soul like rain. 
Helper of the poor and suffering ; 

Victor in a glorious strife ; 
slnger of a noble poem : 

Such the honors of my life. 

Ah, that dream ! Long years that gave mo 

Joy and grief as real things 
Never touched the tender memory 

Sweet and solemn that it brings, — 
Never quite effaced the feeling 

Of those white and shadowing wings. 

Do those blue eyes open wider ? 

Does my faith too foolish seem ? 
Yes, my darling, years have taught me 

It was nothing but a dream. 
Soon, too soon, the bitter knowledge 

Of a fearful trial rose, 
Rose to crush my heart, and sternly 

Bade my young ambition close. 

More and more my eyes were clouded, 

Till at last God's glorious light 
Passed away from me forever, 

And I lived and live in night. 
Dear, I will not dim your pleasure, 

Christmas should be only gay : — 
In my night the stars have risen, 

And I wait the dawn of day. 

Spite of all I could be happy ; 
For my brothers' tender care 



TRUE HONORS. 

In their boyish pastimes ever 
Made me take, or feel a share. 

Philip, even then so thoughtful, 
Max so noble, brave, and tall, 

And your father, little Godfrey, 
The most loving of them all. 

Philip reasoned down my sorrow, 

Max would laugh my gloom away, 
Godfrey's little arms put round me 

Helped me through my dreariest day; 
While the promise of my Angel, 

Like a star, now bright, now pale, 
Hung in blackest night above me, 

And I felt it could not fail. 

Years passed on, my brothers left me, 

Each went out to take his share 
In the struggle of life ; my portion 

AVas a humble one — to bear. 
Here I dwelt, and learnt to wander 

Through the woods and fields alone, 
Every cottage in the village 

Had a corner called my own. 

Old and young, all brought their troubles, 

Great or small, for me to hear ; 
I have often blessed my sorrow 

That drew others' grief so near. 
Ah, the people needed helping — 

Needed love — (for Love and Heaven 
Are the only gifts not bartered, 

They alone are freely given) — 



TRUE HONORS. %l 

And I gave it. Philip's bounty 

(We were orphans, dear) made toil 
Prosper, and want never fastened 

On the tenants of the soil. 
Philip's name (0, how I gloried, 

He so young, to see it rise !) 
Soon grew noted among statesmen 

As a patriot true and wise. 

And his people all felt honored 

To be ruled by such a name ; 
I was proud too that they loved me ; 

Through their pride in him it came, 
JEEe had gained what I had longed for, 

I meanwhile grew glad and gay, 
'Mid his people, to be serving 

Him and them, in some poor way. 

How his noble earnest speeches 

With untiring fervor came ! 
Helper of the poor and suffering ; 

Truly he deserved the name ! 
Had my Angel's promise failed me ? 

''Had that word of hope grown dim ? 
Why, my Philip had fulfilled it, 

And I loved it best in him ! 

Max meanwhile — ah, you, my darling, 

Can his loving words recall — 
'Mid the bravest and the noblest, 

Braver, nobler, than them all. 
How I loved him ! how my heart thrilled 

When his sword clanked by his side, 
When I touched his gold embroidery, 

Almost saw him in his pride I 



24 TRUE HONORS. 

So we parted ; lie all eager 

To uphold the name he bore, 
Leaving in my charge — he loved me — 

Some one whom he loved still more.* 
I must tend this gentle flower, 

I must speak to her of him, 
For he feared — Love still is fearful — 

That his memory might grow dim. 

I must guard her from all sorrow, 

I must play a brother's part, 
Shield all grief and trial from her, 

If it need be, with my heart. 
Years passed, and his name grew faT'ouf* • 

We were proud, both she and Ij 
And we lived upon his letters, 

While the slow days fleeted by. 

Then at last — you know the story, 

How a fearful rumor spread, 
Till all hope had slowly faded, 

And we heard that he was dead. 
Dead ! O, those were bitter hours ; 

Yet within my soul there dwelt 
A warning, and while others mourned hin* 

Something like a hope I felt. 

His was no weak life as mine was, 

But a life, so full and strong — 
No, I could not think he perished 

Nameless, 'mid a conquered throng. 
How she drooped ! Years passed ; no tiding! 

Came, and yet that little flame 
Of strange hope within my spirit 

Still burnt on, and lived the same. 



TRUE HONORS. 25 

Ah ! my child, our hearts will fail us, 

When to us they strongest seem : 
I can look back on those hours 

As a fearful, evil dream. 
She had long despaired ; what wonder 

That her heart had turned to mine ? 
Earthly loves are deep and tender, 

Not eternal and divine ! 

Can I say how bright a future 

Rose before my soul that day 1 
O, so strange, so sweet, so tender ! 

And I had to turn away. 
Hard and terrible the struggle, 

For the pain not mine alone ; 
I called back my Brother's spirit, 

And I bade him claim his own. 

Told her — now I dared to do it — 

That I felt the day would rise 
When he would return to gladden 

My weak heart and her bright eyes. 
And I pleaded — pleaded sternly — 

In his name, and for his sake : 
Now, I can speak calmly of it, 

Then, I thought my heart would break. 

Soon — ah, Love had not deceived me, 

(Love's true instincts never err,) 
Wounded, weak, escaped from prison, 

He returned to me, — to her. 
I could thank God that bright morning, 

When I felt my Brother's gaze, 
That my heart was true and loyal, 

As in our old boyish days. 



z6 TRUE HONORS. 

Bought by wounds and deeds of daring, 

Honors he had brought away ; 
Glory crowned his name — my Brother's ; 

Mine too ! — we were one that day. 
Since the crown on him had fallen, 

" Victor in a noble strife," 
I could live and die contented 

With my poor ignoble life. 

Well, my darling, almost weary 
Of my story ? Wait av, hile ; 

For the rest is only joyful ; 
I can tell it with a smile. 

One bright promise still was left me, 
Wound so close about my soul, 

That, as one by one had failed me, 

. This dream now absorbed the whole. 

rt Singer op a noble Poem," — 

Ah, my darling, few and rare 
Burn the glorious names of Poets, 

Like stars in the purple air. 
That too, and I glory in it, 

That great gift my Godfrey won j 
J have my dear share of honor, 

Gained by that beloved one. 

One day shall my darling read it ; 

Now she cannot understand 
All the noble thoughts that lighten 

Through the genius of the land. 
I am proud to be his brother, 

Proud to think that hope was true ; 
Though I longed and strove so vainly, 

What I failed in, he could do. 



. 



TRUE I10N0RS. 27 

I was long before I knew it, 

Longer ere I felt it so ; 
Then I strung my rhymes together 

Only for the poor and low. 
And, it pleases me to know it, 

(For I love them well indeed,) 
They care for my humble verses, 

Fitted for their humble need. 

And, it cheers my heart to hear it, 

Where the far-off settlers roam, 
My poor words are sung and cherished, 

Just because they speak of Home. 
And the little children sing them, 

(That, I think, has pleased me best,) 
Often, too, the dying love them, 

For they tell of Heaven and rest. 

So my last vain dream has faded ; 

(Such as I to think of fame !) 
Yet I will not say it failed me, 

For it crowned my Godfrey's name. 
No ; my Angel did not cheat me, 

For my long life has been blest; 
He did give me Love and Sorrow, 

He will bring me Light and Keat 



18 



A WO MAWS QUESTION. 




A WOMAN'S QUESTION. 

fJEFORE I trust my Fate to thee, 
Or place my hand in thine, 
Before I let thy Future give 
Color and form to mine, 
Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to- 
night for me. 

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel 

A shadow of regret : 
Is there one link within the Past 

That holds thy spirit yet ? 
Or is thy Faith as clear and free as that which I 
can pledge to thee ? 

Does there within thy dimmest dreams 

A possible future shine, 
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe, 

Untouched, unshared by mine ? 
If so, at any pain or cost, 0, tell me before all 
is lost. 

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel 

Within thy inmost soul, 
That thou hast kept a portion back, 

While I have staked the whole ; 
Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercj 
tell me so. 



Is there within thy heart a need 
That mine cannot fulfil 1 



THE THREE RULERS. 



29 



One chord that any other hand 

Could better wake or still ? 
Speak now — lest at some future day my whole 
life wither and decay. 

Lives there within thy nature hid 

The demon-spirit Change, 
Shedding a passing glory still 

On all things new and strange ? — 
It may not be thy fault alone — but shield my 
heart against thy own. 

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day 

And answer to my claim, 
That Fate, and that to-day's mistake — 

Not thou — had been to blame ? 
Some soothe their conscience thus ; but thou wilt 
surely warn and save me now. 

Nay, answer not, — I dare not hear, 

The words would come too late ; 
Yet I would spare thee all remorse, 

So, comfort thee, my Pate — 
Whatever on my heart may fall — remember, I 
would risk it all ! 



THE THREE RULERS. 

SAW a Ruler take his stand 
And trample on a mighty land; 
The People crouched before his beck, 
His iron heel was on their neck, 




3 o A DEAD PAST. 

His name shone bright through blood and pain, 
His sword flashed back their praise again. 

I saw another Ruler rise : 

His words were noble, good, and wise ; 

With the calm sceptre of his pen 

He ruled the minds and thoughts of men : 

Some scoffed, some praised, — wliile many heard, 

Only a few obeyed his word. 

Another Ruler then I saw : 

Love and sweet Pity were his law ; 

The greatest and the least had part 

(Yet most the unhappy) in his heart: 

The People, in a mighty band, 

Rose up, and drove him from the land ! 



A DEAD PAST. 



^|PARE her at least : look, you have 
taken from me 
The Present, and I murmur not, nor 
moan ; 

The Future too, with all her glorious promise; 
But do not leave me utterly alone. 

Spare me the Past : for, see, she cannot harm you, 
She lies so white and cold, wrapped in her shroud ; 
All, all my own ! and, trust me, I will hide her 
Within my soul, nor speak to her aloud. 




A DOUBTING HEART. 31 

I folded her soft hands upon her bosom, 
And strewed my flowers upon her, — they still live ; 
Sometimes I like to kiss her closed white eyelids, 
And think of all the joy she used to give. 

Cruel indeed it were to take her from me ; 
She sleeps, she will not wake — no fear — again : 
And so I laid her, such a gentle burthen, 
Quietly on my heart to still its pain. 

I do not think that any smiling Present, 
Any vague Future, spite of all her charms, 
Could ever rival her. You know you laid her, 
Long years ago, then living, in my arms. 

Leave her at least : while my tears fall upon fter, 
I dream she smiles, just as she did of yore ; 
•As dear as ever to me — nay, it may be, 
Even dearer still — since I have nothing more. 



A DOUBTING HEART. 




HERE are the swallows ft^l 1 
Frozen and dead, 
Perchance upon some Weak and Btormy 
shore. 
O doubting heart ! 
Far over purple seas, 
They wait, in sunny ea^c, 
The balmy southern bi^ze, 
To bnng them to their northern homes once mora 



32 A DOUBTING HEART. 

Why must the flowers die ? 
Prisoned they lie 
In the cold tomb, heedless of tears or rain. 
doubting heart ! 
They only sleep below 
The soft white ermine snow, 
While winter winds shall blow, 
To breathe and smile upon you soon again. 

The sun has hid its rays 

These many days ; 
Will dreary hours never leave the earth ? 
doubting heart ! 
The stormy clouds on high 
Veil the same sunny sky, 
That soon (for spring is nigh) 
Shall wake the summer into golden mirth. 

Fair hope is dead, and light 

Is quenched in night. 
What sound can break the silence of despair 1 
O doubting heart ! 
Thy sky is overcast, 
Yet stars shall rise at last, 
Brighter for darkness past, 
And angels' silver voices stir the air. 



A STUDENT. 



A STUDENT. 



33 




VER an ancient scroll I bent, 
Steeping my soul in wise content, 
Nor paused a moment, save to chide 
A low voice whispering at my side. 



I wove beneath the stars' pale shine 
A dream, half human, half divine ; 
And shook off (not to break the charm) 
A little hand laid on my arm. 

I read ; until my heart would glow 
With the great deeds of long ago ; 
Nor heard, while with those mighty dead, 
Pass to and fro a faltering tread. 

On the old theme I pondered long, — 
The struggle between right and wrong ; 
I could not check such visions high, 
To soothe a little quivering sigh. 

I tried to solve the problem — Life ; 
Dreaming of that mysterious strife, 
How could I leave such reasonings wise, 
To answer two blue pleading eyes ? 

I strove how best to give, and when, 
My blood to save my fellow-men, — 
How could I turn aside, to look 
At snowdrops laid upon my book ? 
3 



34 A KNIGHT ERRANT. 

Now Time has fled — the world is strange, 
Something there is of pain and change; 
My books lie closed upon the shelf; 
I miss the old heart in myself. 

I miss the sunbeams in my room — 
It was not always wrapped in gloom : 
I miss my dreams — they fade so fast, 
Or flit into some trivial past. 

The great stream of the world goes by ; 
None care, or heed, or question, why 
I, the lone student, cannot raise 
My voice or hand as in old days. 

No echo seems to wake again 
My heart to anything but pain, 
Save when a dream of twilight bringt 
The fluttering of an angel's wings ! 



A KNIGHT EERANT. 




HOUGH he lived and died among us, 
Yet his name may be enrolled 
With the knights whose deeds of daring 
Ancient chronicles have told. 



Still a stripling, he encountered 
Poverty, and struggled long, 

Gathering force from every effort, 
Till he knew his arm was strong. 



A KNIGHT ERRANT. 3S 

Then his heart and life he offered 
To his radiant mistress — Truth ; 

Never thought, or dream, or faltering, 
Marred the promise of his youth. 

So he rode forth to defend her, 
And her peerless worth proclaim ; 

Challenging each recreant doubter 
Who aspersed her spotless name. 

First upon his path stood Ignorance, 

Hideous in his brutal might ; 
Hard the blows and long the battle 

Ere the monster took to flight. 

Then, with light and fearless spirit, 

Prejudice he dared to brave ; 
Hunting back the lying craven 

To her black sulphureous cave. 

Followed by his servile minions, 

Custom, the old Giant, rose; 
Yet he, too, at last was conquered 

By the good Knight's weighty blowB. 

Then he turned, and, flushed with victo* j% 

Struck upon the brazen shield 
Of the world's great king, Opinion, 

And defied him to the field. 

Once again he rose a conqueror, 
And, though wounded in the fight, 

With a dying smile of triumph 

Saw that Truth had gained her right 



LINGER, GENTLE TIME. 

On his failing ear re-echoing 

Came the shouting round her throne ; 
Little cared he that no future 

With her name would link his own.* 

Spent with many a hard-fought battle, 

Slowly ebbed his life away, 
And the crowd that flocked to greet her 

Trampled on him where he lay. 

Gathering all his strength, he saw her 
Crowned and reigning in her pride ; 

Looked his last upon her beauty, 
Raised his eyes to God, and died. 



LINGER, GENTLE TIME. 




jTNGER, O gentle Time, 
Linger, O radiant grace of bright Ta 
day ! 
Let not the hours' chime 
Call thee away, 
But linger near me still with fond delay. 

Linger, for thou art mine ! 
What dearer treasures can the future hold T 

What sweeter flowers than thine 
Can she unfold ? 
What secrets tell my heart thou hast not told ? 



HOMEWARD BOUND. j. 

O linger in thy flight ! 
For shadows gather round, and should we part, 

A dreary, starless night 
May fill my heart, — 
Then pause and linger yet ere thou depart. 

Linger, I ask no more, — 
Thou art enough forever — thou alone ; 

What future can restore, 
When thou art flown, 
All that I hold from thee and call my own 1 



HOMEWARD BOUND. 

HAVE seen a fiercer tempest, 

Known a louder whirlwind blow^ 
I was wrecked off red Algiers, 
Six-and-tliirty years ago. 
Young I was, and yet old seamen 
Were not strong or calm as I ; 
While life held such treasures for me, 
I felt sure I could not die. 

Life I struggled for — and saved it ; 

Life alone — and nothing more ; 
Bruised, half dead, alone aud helpless 

I was cast upon the shore. 
I feared the pitiless rocks of Ocean ; 

So the great sea rose — and then 
Cast me from her friendly bosom, 

On the pitiless hearts of men. 




3 8 HOMEWARD BOUND. 

Gaunt and dreary ran the mountains, 

With black gorges, up the land ; 
Up to where the lonely Desert 

Spreads her burning, dreary sand : 
In the gorges of the mountains, 

On the plain beside the sea, 
Dwelt my stern and cruel masters, 

The black Moors of Barbary. 

Ten long years I toiled among them, 

Hopeless — as I used to say ; 
Now I know Hope burnt within me 

Fiercer, stronger, day by day : 
Those dim years of toil and sorrow 

Like one long, dark dream appear; 
One long day of weary waiting, — 

Then each day was like a year. 

How I cursed the land, my prison ; 

How I cursed the serpent sea, 
And the Demon Fate that showered 

All her curses upon me , 
I was mad, I think — God pardon 

Words so terrible and wild — 
This voyage would have been my last one. 

For I left a wife and child. 

Never did one tender vision 

Fade away before my sight, 
Never once through all my slavery, 

Burning day or dreary night ; 
In my soul it lived, and kept me, 

Now I feel, from black despair, 
And my heart was not quite broken, 

While they lived and blest me there. 



HOMEWARD BOUND. 39 

When at night my task was over, 

I would hasten to the shore ; 
(All was strange and foreign inland, 

Nothing I had known before ;) 
Strange looked the bleak mountain passes, 

Strange the red glare and black shade, 
And the Oleanders, waving 

To the sound the fountains made. 

Then I gazed at the great Ocean, 

Till she grew a friend again ; 
And because she knew old England, 

I forgave her all my pain : 
So the blue still sky above me, 

With its white clouds' fleecy fold, 
And the glimmering stars (though brighter), 

Looked like home and days of old. 

And a calm would fall upon me, 

Worn perhaps with work and pain, 
.The wild hungry longing left me, 

And I was myself again : 
Looking at the silver waters, 

Looking up at the far sky, 
Dreams of home and all I left there 

Floated sorrowfully by. 

A fair face, but pale with sorrow, 

With blue eyes, brimful of tears, 
And the little red mouth, quivering 

With a smile, to hide its fears ; 
Holding out her baby towards me, 

From the sky she looked on me; 
So it was that last I saw her, 

As the snip put out to sea. 



4 o HOMEWARD BOUND. 

Sometimes (and a pang would seize me 

That the years were floating on) 
I would strive to paint her, altered, 

And the little baby gone : 
She no longer young and girlish, 

The child standing by her knee, 
And her face more pale and saddened 

With the weariness for me. 

Then I saw, as night grew darker, 

How she taught my child to pray. 
Holding its small hands together, 

For its father, far away; 
And I felt her sorrow, weighing 

Heavier on me than my own, 
Pitying her blighted spring-time, 

And her joy so early flown. 

Till upon my hands (now hardened 

With the rough, harsh toil of years) 
Bitter drops of anguish falling, # 

Woke me from my dream, to tears ; 
Woke me as a slave, an outcast, 

Leagues from home, across the deep ; 
So — though you may call it childish — • 

So I sobbed myself to sleep. 

Well, the years sped on — my Sorrow, 

Calmer, and yet stronger grown, 
Was my shield against all suffering 

Poorer, meaner than her own. 
Thus my cruel master's harshness 

Pell upon me all in vain, 
Yet the tale of what we suffered 

Echoed back from main to main. 



SOME WARD BOUND. 4l 

You have heard in a far country 

Of a self-devoted band, 
Vowed to rescue Christian captives 

Pining in a foreign land. 
And these gentle-hearted strangers 

Year by year go forth from Rome, 
In their hands the hard-earned ransom, 

To restore some exiles home. 

I was freed : they broke the tidings 

Gently to me : but indeed 
Hour by hour sped on, I knew not 

What the words meant — I was freed ! 
Better so, perhaps ; while sorrow 

(More akin to earthly things) 
Only strains the sad heart's fibres, 

Joy, bright stranger, breaks the string* 

Yet at last it rushed upon me, 

And my heart beat full and fast ; 
What were now my years of waiting, 

What was all the dreary past 1 
Nothing — to the impatient throbbing 

I must bear across the sea : 
Nothing — to the eternal hours 

Still between my home and me ! 

How the voyage passed I know not ; 

Strange it was once more to stand 
With my countrymen around me, 

And to clasp an English hand. 
But, through all, my heart was dreaming 

Of the first words I should hear, 
In the gentle voice that echoed, 

Fresh as ever, on my ear. 



HOMEWARD BOUND. 

Should I sec her start of wonder, 

And the sudden truth arise, 
Flushing all her face and lightening 

The dimmed splendor of her eyes 1 
Oh ! to watch the fear and doubting 

Stir the silent depths of pain, 
And the rush of joy — then melting 

Into perfect peace again. 

And the child ! — but why remember 

Foolish fancies that I thought ? 
Every tree and every hedge-row 

From the well-known past I brought ; 
I would picture my dear cottage, 

See the crackling wood-fire burn, 
And the two beside it seated, 

Watching, waiting, my return. 

So at last we reached the harbor. 

I remember nothing more 
Till I stood, my sick heart throbbing, 

"With my hand upon the door. 
There I paused — I heard her speaking ; 

Low, soft, murmuring words she said; 
Then I first knew the dumb terror 

I had had lest she were dead. 

It was evening in late autumn, 

And the gusty wind blew chill ; 
Autumn leaves were falling round me, 

And the red sun lit the hill. 
Six-and-twenty years are vanished 

Since then, — I am old and gray, — 
But I never told to mortal 

What I saw, until this day. 



HOMEWARD BOUND. 41 

She was seated by the fire, 

In her arms she held a ehild, 
Whispering baby-words caressing, 

And then, looking up, she smiled ; 
Smiled on him who stood beside her — 

Oh ! the bitter truth was told, 
In her look of trusting fondness — 

I had seen the look of old ! 

But she rose and turned towards me 

(Cold and dumb I waited there) 
With a shriek of fear and terror, 

And a white face of despair. 
He had been an ancient comrade — 

Not a single word we said, 
While we gazed upon each other, 

He the living : I the dead ! 

I drew nearer, nearer to her, 

And I took her trembling hand, 
Looking on her white face, looking 

That her heart might understand 
All the love and all the pity 

That my lips refused to say. 
I thank God no thought save sorrow 

Rose in our crushed hearts that daj. 

Bitter tears that desolate moment, 

Bitter, bitter tears we wept, 
We three broken hearts together, 

While the baby smiled and slept. 
Tears alone — no words were spoken, 

Till he — till her husband said 
That my boy, (I had forgotten 

The poor child,) that he was dead. 



44 LIFE AND DEATH. 

Then at last I rose, and, turning, 

Wrung his hand, but made no sign ; 
And I stooped and kissed her forehead 

Once more, as if she were mine. 
Nothing of farewell I uttered, 

Save in broken words to pray 
That God would ever guard and bless he*, 

Then in silence passed away. 

Over the great restless ocean 

Six-and-twenty years I roam ; 
All my comrades, old and weary, 

Have gone back to die at home. 
Home ! yes, I shall reach a haven, 

I, too, shall reach home and rest ; 
I shall find her waiting for me 

With our baby on her breast. 



LIFE AND DEATH. 




j|HAT is Life, father ? " 

" A battle, my child, 
Where the strongest lance may fail, 
Where the wariest eyes may be beguiled 
And the stoutest heart may quail. 
Where the foes are gathered on every hand, 

And rest not day or night, 
And the feeble little ones must stand 
In the thickest of the fight." 



NOW. 45 

« What is Death, father ? " 

" The rest, my child, 

When the strife and the toil are o'er ; 
The angel of God, who, calm and mild, 

Says we need fight no more; 
Who, driving away the demon band, 

Bids the din of the battle cease ; 
Takes banner and spear from our failing hand, 

And proclaims an eternal peace." 

" Let me die, father ! I tremble, and fear 
To yield in that terrible strife ! " 

" The crown must be won for heaven, dear, 

In the battle-field of life : 
My child, though thy foes are strong and tried. 

He loveth the weak and small ; 
The angels of heaven are on thy side, 

And God is over all ! " 



NOW. 



J]ISE ! for the day is passing, 
And you lie dreaming on ; 
The others have buckled their armor, 
And forth to the fight are gone : 
A place in the ranks awaits you, 

Each man has some part to play ; 
The Past and the Future are nothing, 
In the face of the stern To-day. 




46 NO W. 

Rise from your dreams of the Future, — 

Of gaining some hard-fought field • 
Of storming some airy fortress, 

Or bidding some giant yield ; 
Your Future has deeds of glory, 

Of honor (God grant it may !) 
But your arm will never be stronger, 

Or the need so great as To-day. 

Rise ! if the Past detains you, 

Her sunshine and storms forget ; 
No chains so unworthy to hold you 

As those of a vain regret ; 
Sad or bright, she is lifeless ever ; 

Cast her phantom arms away, 
Nor look back, save to learn the lesson 

Of a nobler strife To-day. 

Rise ! for the day is passing ; 

The sound that you scarcely hear 
Is the enemy marching to battle : 

Arise ! for the foe is here ! 
, Stay not to shaken your weapons, 

Or the hour wil 1 strike at last, 
When, from dreams of a coming battl% 

You may wake to find it past I 




CLEANSING FIRES 47 



CLEANSING FIBES 

]ET thy gold be cast in the furnace, 
Thy red gold, precious and bright; 
Do not fear the hungry tire, 

With its caverns of burning light; 
And thy gold shall return more precious, 

Free from every spot and stain; 
For gold must be tried by fire, 
As a heart must be tried by pain ! 

In the cruel fire of Sorrow 

Cast thy heart, do not faint or wail ; 
Let thy hand be firm and steady, 

Do not let thy spirit quail : 
But wait till the trial is over, 

And take thy heart again ; 
For as gold is tried by fire, 

So a heart must be tried by pain ! 

I shall know by the gleam and glitter 

Of the golden chain you wear, 
By your heart's calm strength in loving> 

Of the fire they have had to bear. 
Beat on, true heart, forever ; 

Shine bright, strong golden chain ; 
And bless the cleansing fire, 

And the furnace of living pain ! 




THE VOICE OF THE WIND. 



THE VOICE OF THE WIND. 

FET us throw more logs on the fire ! 
Wc have need of a cheerful light, 
And close round the hearth to gather; 
&j<§»'*=$£\ For the wind has risen to-night. 
With the mournful sound of its wailing 

It has checked the children's glee, 
And it calls with a louder clamor 
Than the clamor of the sea. 

Hark to the voice of the wind ! 

Let us listen to what it is saying, 

Let us hearken to where it has been ; 
For it tells, in its terrible crying, 

The fearful sights it has seen. 
It clatters loud at the casements, 

Kound the house it hurries on, 
And shrieks with redoubled fury 

When we say, " The blast is gone ! n 
Hark to the voice of the wind ! 

It has been on the field of battle, 

Where the dying and wounded lie ; 
And it brings the last groan they uttered, 

And the ravenous vulture's cry. 
It has been where the icebergs were meeting, 

And closed with a fearful crash : 
On shores where no foot has wandered 

It has heard the waters dash. 

Hark to the voice of the wind ! 



THE VOICE OF THE WIND. 49 

It has been on the desolate ocean 

When the lightning struck the mast ; 
It has heard the cry of the drowning 

Who sank as it hurried past ; 
The words of despair and anguish 

That were heard by no living ear, 
The gun that no signal answered, 

It brings them all to us here. 

Hark to the voice of the wind ! 

It has been on the lonely moorland, 

Where the treacherous snow-drift lies, 
Where the traveller, spent and weary, 

Grasped fainter and fainter cries ; 
It has heard the bay of the bloodhound* 

On the track of the hunted slave, 
The lash and the curse ©f the master, 

And the groan that the captive gave. 
Hark to the voice of the wind ! 

It has swept through the gloomy forest, 

Where the sledge was urged to its speedy 
Where the howling wolves were rushing 

On the track of the panting steed. 
WTiere the pool was black and lonely, 

L c~ught up a splash and a cry, — 
Ol.y the bleak sky heard it, 

And the wind as it hurried by. 

Hark to the voice of the wind ! 

Then throw more logs on the fire, 

Since the air is bleak and cold, 
And the children are drawing nigher, 

For the tales that the wind has told. 
4 



5° 



TREASURES. 

So closer and closer gather 

Round the red and crackling light ; 
And rejoice (while the wind is blowing) 

We are safe and warm to-night. 
Hark to the voice of the wind 1 



TREASURES. 




ET me count my treasures, 
All my soul holds dear, 
Given me by dark spirits 
Whom I used to fear. 



Through long days of anguish, 
And sad nights, did Pain • 

Forge my shield, Endurance, 
Bright and free from stain ! 

Doubt, in misty caverns, 
'Mid dark horrors sought, 

Till my peerless jewel, 
Faith, to me she brought. 

Sorrow, that I wearied 
Should remain so long, 

Wreathed my starry glory, 
The bright Crown of Song. 

Strife, that racked my spirit 
Without hope or rest, 

Left the blooming flower, 
Patience, on my breast. 



SHINING STARS. 51 

Suffering, that I dreaded, 

Ignorant of her charms, 
Laid the fair child, Pity, 

Smiling, in my arms. 

So I count my treasures, 

Stored in days long past, — 

And I thank the givers, 
Whom I know at last ! 



SHINING STARS. 




$]HINE, ye stars of heaven^ 
On a world of pain ! 
See old Time destroying 
All our hoarded gain > 
All our sweetest flowers, 
Every stately shrine, 
All our hard-earned glory, 
Every dream divine ! 

Shine, ye stars of heaven, 

On the rolling years ! 
See how Time, consoling, 

Dries the saddest tears, 
Bids the darkest storm-clouds 

Pass in gentle rain, 
While upspring in glory 

Flowers and dreams again \ 



*2 WAITING. 

Shine, ye stars of heaven, 

On a world of fear ! 
See how Time, avenging, 

Bringeth judgment here : 
Weaving ill-won honors 

To a fiery crown ; 
Bidding hard hearts perish ; 

Casting proud hearts down. 

Shine, ye stars of heaven, 

On the hours' slow flight ! 
See how Time, rewarding, 

Gilds good deeds with light ; 
Pays with kingly measure ; 

Brings earth's dearest prize ; 
Or, crowned with rays diviner, 

Bids the end arise ! 



WAITING. 




HEREFOKE dwell so sad and lonely 
By the desolate sea-shore, 
With the melancholy surges 
Beating at your cottage door ? 



" You shall dwell beside the castle 
Shadowed by our ancient trees ; 

And your life shall pass on gently, 
Cared for, and in rest and ease." 



WAITING. 53 

" Lady, one who loved me dearly 

Sailed for distant lands away ; 
And I wait here his returning 

Hopefully from day to day. 

" To my door I bring my spinning, 

Watching every ship I see ; 
Waiting, hoping, till the sunset 

Fades into the western sea. 

" After sunset, at my casement, 

Still I place a signal light ; , 
He will see its well-known shining 

Should his ship return at nigh^ 

" Lady, see your infant smiling, 

With its flaxen curling hair, — » 
I remember when your mother 

Was a baby just as fair. 

"I was watching then, and hoping : 

Years have brought great change to all \ 

To my neighbors in their cottage, 
To you nobles at the hall. 

" Not to me, — for I am waiting, 

And the years have fled so fast, 
I must look at you to tell me 

That a weary time has past ! 

" When I hear a footstep coming 
On the shingle — years have fled -7 

Yet amid a thousand others, 

I shall know his quick, light tread 



THE CRADLE-SONG OF THE POOR. 

" When I hear (to-night it may be) 
Some one pausing at my door, 

I shall know the gay, soft accents, 
Heard and welcomed oft before 1 

" So each day I am more hopeful, 
He may come before the night ; 

Every sunset I feel surer 

He must come ere morning light. 

" Then I thank you, noble lady, 
But I cannot do your will : 

Where he left me he must find me, 
Waiting, watching, hoping, still ! " 



THE CRADLE-SONG OF THE POOR. 

USH ! I cannot bear to see thee 
Stretch thy tiny hands in yain ; 
Dear, I have no bread to give thee, 
Nothing, child, to ease thy pain ! 
When God sent thee first to bless me, 

Proud, and thankful too, was I ; 
Now, my darling, I, thy mother, 
Almost long to see thee die. 

Sleep, my darling, thou art weary; 
God is good, but life is dreary. 

I have watched thy beauty fading, 
And thy strength sink day by day , 

Soon, I know, will Want and Fever 
Take thy little life away. 




THE CRADLE-SONG OF TEE POOR. 55 

Famine makes thy father reckless, 
Hope has left both Him and me ; 
We could suffer all, my baby, 
Had we but a crust for thee. 

Sleep, my darling, thou art weary; 
God is good, but life is dreary. 

Better thou shouldst perish early, 

Starve so soon, my darling one, 
Than in helpless sin and sorrow 

Vainly live as I have done. 
Better that thy angel spirit 

With my joy, my peace, were flown, 
Than thy heart grew cold and careless, 

Reckless, hopeless, like my own. 

Sleep, my darling, thou art weary; 
God is good, but life is dreary. 

I am wasted, dear, with hunger, 

And my brain is all opprest, 
I have scarcely strength to press thee, 

Wan and feeble, to my breast. 
Patience, baby, God will help us, 

Death will come to thee and me, 
He will take us to his heaven, 

Where no want or pain can be. 

Sleep, my darling, thou art weary; 
God is good, but life is dreary. 

Such the plaint that, late and early, 

Did we listen, we might hear 
Close beside us, — but the thunder 

Of a city dulls our ear. 



5 6 BE STRONG. 

Every heart, as God's bright angel, 
Can bid one such sorrow cease ; 
God has glory when his children 
Bring his poor ones joy and peace ! 
Listen, nearer while she sings 
Sounds the fluttering of winga ! 



BE STRONG. 



E strong to hope, O Heart ! 
Though day is bright, 
The stars can only shine 
In the dark night. 
Be strong, O Heart of mine, 
Look towards the light ! 

Be strong to bear, O Heart ! 

Nothing is vain: 
Strive not, for life is care, 

And God sends pain ; 
Heaven is above, and there 

Rest will remain ! 

Be strong to love, O Heart ! 

Love knows not wrong ; 
Didst thou love — creatures even, 

Life were not long ; 
Didst thou love God in heaven, 

Thou wouldst be strong ! 




GOD'S GIFTS. 57 



GOD'S GIFTS. 



ppTT^lOD gave a gift to Earth : — a child, 
Weak, innocent, and undefiled, 
^A^gi^ Opened its ignorant eyes and smiled. 



It lay so helpless, so forlorn, 
Earth took it coldly and in scorn, 
Cursing the day when it was born. 

She gave it first a tarnished name, 
For heritage, a tainted fame, 
Then cradled it in want and shame. 

All influence of Good or Right, 
All ray of God's most holy light, 
She curtained closely from its sight, 

Then turned her heart, her eyes away, 
Ready to look again the day 
Its little feet began to stray. 

Xn dens of guilt the baby played, 
Where sin, and sin alone, was made 
The law that all around obeyed. 

With ready and obedient care, 

He learnt the tasks they taught him there j 

Black sin for lesson, — oaths for prayer. 

Then Earth arose, and, in her might, 
To vindicate her injured right, 
Thrust him in deeper depths of night 



58 GOD'S GIFTS. 

Branding him with a deeper brand 
Of shame, he could not understand, 
The felon outcast of the land. 



God gave a gift to Earth : — a child, 
Weak, innocent, and undefiled, 
Opened its ignorant eyes and smiled. 

And Earth received the gift, and cried 
Her joy and triumph far and wide, 
Till echo answered to her pride. 

She blest the hour when first he came 
To take the crown of pride and fame, 
Wreathed through long ages for his name. 

Then bent her utmost art and skill 
To train the supple mind and will, 
And guard it from a breath of ill. 

She strewed his morning path with flowers, 
And Love, in tender dropping showers, 
Nourished the blue and dawning hours. 

She shed, in rainbow hues of light, 
A halo round the Good and Right, 
To tempt and charm the baby's sight. 

And every step, of work or play, 
Was lit by some such dazzling ray, 
Till morning brightened into day. 




A TOMB IN GHENT. S9 

And then the World arose, and said, 
Let added honors now be shed 
On such a noble heart and head ! 

O World, both gifts were pure and bright, 
Holy and sacred in God's sight : — 
God will judge them and thee aright 1 



A TOMB IN GHENT. 

SMILING look she had, a figure slight, 
With cheerful air, and step both quick 

and light ; 
A strange and foreign look the maiden 
bore, 

That suited the quaint Belgian dress she wore ; 
Yet the blue, fearless eves in her fair face, 
And her soft voice, told her of English race ; 
And ever, as she flitted to and fro, 
She sang, (or murmured, rather,) soft and low, 
Snatches of song, as if she did not know 
That she was singing, but the happy load 
Of dream and thought thus from her heart o'er- 

flowed : 
And while on household cares she passed along, 
The air would bear me fragments of her song ; 
Not such as village maidens sing, and few 
The framers of her changing music knew ; 
Chants such as heaven and earth first heard of when 
The master Palestrina held the pen. 
But I with awe had often turned the page, 
Yellow with time, and half defaced by age, 



6o A TOMB m GHENT. 

And listened, with an ear not quite unskilled, 

While heart and soul to the grand echo thrilled ; 

And much I marvelled, as her cadence fell 

From the Laudate, that I knew so well, 

Into Scarlatti's minor fugue, how she 

Had learned such deep and solemn harmony. 

But what she told I set in rhyme, as meet 

To chronicle the influence, dim and sweet, 

'Neath which her young and innocent life had grown : 

Would that my words were simple as her own. 

Many years since, an English workman went 
Over the seas, to seek a home in Ghent, 
Where English skill was prized ; nor toiled in vain; 
Small, yet enough, his hard-earned daily gain. 
He dwelt alone, — in sorrow, or in pride, 
He mixed not with the workers by his side ; 
He seemed to care but for one present joy, — 
To tend, to watch, to teach his sickly boy. 
Severe to all beside, yet for the child 
He softened his rough speech to soothings mild ; 
For him he smiled, with him each day he walked 
Through the dark, gloomy streets ; to him he talkecj 
Of home, of England, and strange stories told 
Of English heroes in the days of old ; 
And, (when the sunset gilded roof and spire,) 
The marvellous tale which never seemed to tire : 
How the gilt dragon, glaring fiercely down 
From the great belfry, watching all the town, 
Was brought, a trophy of the wars divine, 
By a Crusader from far Palestine, 
And given to Bruges ; and how Ghent arose, 
And how they struggled long as deadly foes, 
Till Ghent, one night, by a brave soldier's skill, 



A TOMB IN GHENT. 61 

Stole the great dragon ; and she keeps it still. 
One day the dragon — so 't is said — will rise, 
Spread his bright wings, and glitter in the skies, 
And over desert lands and azure seas 
"Will seek Ins home 'mid palm and cedar trees. 
So, as he passed the belfry every day, 
The boy would look if it were flown away ; 
Each day surprised to find it watching there, 
Above him, as he crossed the ancient square, 
To seek the great cathedral, that had grown 
A home for him — mysterious and his own. 

Dim with dark shadows of the ages past, 
St. Bavon stands, solemn and rich and vast ; 
The slender pillars, in long vistas spread, 
Like forest arches meet and close o'erhead ; 
So high that, like a weak and doubting prayer, 
Ere it can float to the carved angels there, 
The silver clouded incense faints in air : 
Only the organ's voice, with peal on peal, 
Can mount to where those far-off angels kneel. 
Here the pale boy, beneath a low side-arch, 
"Would listen to its solemn chant or march ; 
Folding his little hands, his simple prayer 
Melted in childish dreams, and both in air : 
While the great organ over all would roll, 
Speaking strange secrets to his innocent soul. 
Bearing on eagle-wings the great desire 
Of all the kneeling throng, and piercing higher 
Than aught but love and prayer can reach, until 
Only the silence seemed to listen still ; 
Or gathering like a sea still more and more, 
Break in melodious waves at heaven's door, 
And then fall, slow and soft, in tender rain, 
Upon the pleading, longing hearts again. 



6i A TOMB IN GHENT. 

Then he would watch the rosy sunlight glow, 
That crept along the marble floor below, 
Passing, as life does, with the passing hours, 
Now by a shrine all rich with gems and flowers, 
Now on the brazen letters of a tomb, 
Then, leaving it again to shade and gloom, 
And creeping on, to show, distinct and quaint, 
The kneeling figure of some marble saint : 
Or lighting up the carvings strange and rare, 
That told of patient toil, and reverent care ; 
Ivy that trembled on the spray, and ears 
Of heavy corn, and slender bulrush spears, 
And all the thousand tangled weeds that grow 
In summer, where the silver rivers flow ; 
And demon-heads grotesque, that seemed to glara 
In impotent wrath on all the beauty there : 
Then the gold rays up pillared shaft would climb, 
And so be drawn to heaven, at evening time. 
And deeper silence, darker shadows flowed 
On all around, only the windows glowed 
With blazoned glory, like the shields of light 
Archangels bear, who, armed with love and migh\ 
Watch upon heaven's battlements at night. 
Then all was shade ; the silver lamps that gleamed, 
Lost in the daylight, in the darkness seemed 
Like sparks of fire in the dim aisles to shine, 
Or trembling stars before each separate shrine. 
Grown half afraid, the child would leave them there, 
And come out, blinded by the noisy glare 
That burst upon him from the busy square. 

The church was thus his home for rest or play; 
And as he came and went again each day, 
The pictured faces that he knew so well 
Seemed to smile on him welcome and farewelL 



A TOMB IN GHENT. 63 

But holier, and dearer far than all, 

One sacred spot his own he loved to call ; 

Save at midday, half-hidden by the gloom ; 

The people call it The White Maiden's Tomh : 

For there she stands ; her folded hands are pressed 

Together, and laid softly on her breast, 

As if she waited but a word to rise 

From the dull earth, and pass to the blue skies ; 

Her lips expectant part, she holds her breath, 

As listening for the angel voice of death. 

None know how many years have seen her so, 

Or what the name of her who sleeps below. 

And here the child would come, and strive to trace, 

Through the dim twilight, the pure, gentle face 

He loved so well, and here he oft would bring 

Some violet-blossom of the early spring, 

And, climbing softly by the fretted stand, 

Not to disturb her, lay it in her hand ; 

Or, whispering a soft, loving message sweet, 

Would stoop and kiss the little marble feet. 

So, when the organ's pealing music rang, 

He thought amid the gloom the Maiden sang ; 

With reverent, simple faith by her he knelt, 

And fancied A^hat she thought, and what she felt ; 

" Glory to God," re-echoed from her voice, 

And then his little spirit would rejoice ; 

Or when the Requiem sobbed upon the air, 

His baby tears dropped with her mournful prayer- 

So years fled on, while childish fancies past, 
The childish love and simple faith could last. 
The artist-soul awoke in him, the flame 
Of genius, like the light of Heaven, came 
Upon his brain, and (as it will, if true) 



64 A TOMB IN GHENT. 

It touched his heart and lit his spirit, too. 

His father saw, and with a proud content 

Let him forsake the toil where lie had spent 

His youth's first years, and on one happy day 

Of pride, before the old man passed away, 

He stood with quivering lips, and the big tears 

Upon his cheek, and heard the dream of years 

Living and speaking to his very heart, — 

The low, hushed murmur at the wondrous art 

Of him who with young, trembling fingers made 

The great church-organ answer as he played ; 

And, as the uncertain sound grew full and strong, 

Bush with harmonious spirit-wings along, 

And thrill with master-power the breathless throng 

The old man died, and years passed on, and stili 
The young musician bent his heart and will 
To his dear toil. St. Bay on now had grown 
More dear to him, and eyen more his own ; 
And as he left it every night he prayed 
A moment by the archway in the shade, 
Kneeling once more within the sacred gloom 
"Where the White Maiden watched upon her tomb. 
His hopes of trayel and a world-wide fame, 
Cold Time had sobered, and his fragile frame ; 
Content at last only in dreams to roam, 
Away from the tranquillity of home ; 
Content that the poor dwellers by his side 
Saw in him but the gentle friend and guide, 
The patient counsellor in the poor strife 
And petty details of their common life, 
Who comforted where woe and grief might fall, 
Nor slighted any pain or want as small, 
But whose great heart took in and felt for all. 



A TOMB IN GHENT, 65 

Still he grew famous ; — many came to bo 
His pupils in the art of harmony. 
One day a voice floated so pure and free 
Above his music, that he turned to see 
What angel sang, and saw before his eyes, 
What made his heart leap with a strange surprise, 
His own White Maiden, calm, and pure, and mild, 
As in his childish dreams she sang and smiled ; 
Her eyes raised up to Heaven, her lips apart, 
And music overflowing from her heart. 
But the faint blush that tinged her cheek betrayed 
No marble statue, but a living maid ; 
Perplexed and startled at his wondering look, 
Her rustling score of Mozart's Sanctus shook ; 
The uncertain notes, like birds within a snare, 
Fluttered and died upon the trembling air. 

Days passed ; each morning saw the maiden 
stand, 
Her eyes cast down, her lesson in her hand, 
Eager to study, never weary, while 
Repaid by the approving word or smile 
Of her kind master ; days and months fled on ; 
One day the pupil from the choir was gone ; 
Gone to take light, and joy, and youth once more 
Within the poor musician's humble door; 
And to repay, with gentle, happy art, 
The debt so many owed his generous heart. 
And now, indeed, was one who knew and felt 
That a great gift of God within him dwelt ; 
One who could listen, who could understand, 
Whose idle work dropped from her slackened hand, 
While with wet eyes entranced she stood, nor knew 
How the melodious winged hours flew ; 
5 



66 A TOMB IN GHENT, 

Who loved his art as none had loved before, 
Yet prized the noble, tender spirit more. 
While the great organ brought from far and near 
Lovers of harmony to praise and hear, 
Unmarked by aught save what filled every day, 
Duty, and toil, and rest, years passed away : 
And now by the low archway in the shade 
Beside her mother knelt a little maid, 
Who through the great cathedral learned to roam, 
Climb to the choir, and bring her father home ; 
And stand, demure and solemn by his side, 
Patient till the last echo softly died ; 
Then place her little hand in his, and go 
Down the dark winding stair to where below 
The mother knelt, within the gathering gloom 
Waiting and praying by the Maiden's Tomb. 

So their life went, until, one winter's day, 
Father and child came there alone to pray, -— 
The mother, gentle soul, had fled away ! 
Their life was altered now, and yet the child 
Forgot her passionate grief in time, and smiled, 
Half wondering why, when spring's fresh breettf 

came, 
To see her father was no more the same. 
Half guessing at the shadow of his pain, 
And then contented if he smiled again, 
A sad, cold smile, that passed in tears away, 
As reassured she ran once more to play. 
And now each year that added grace to grace, 
Fresh bloom and sunshine to the young girl's facefc 
Brought a strange light in the musician's eyes, 
As if he saw some starry hope arise, 
Breaking upon the midnight of sad skies. 



A TOMB IN GHENT. 67 

It might be so : more feeble year by year, 

The wanderer to his resting-place drew near. 

One day the Gloria he could play no more 

Echoed its grand rejoicing as of yore ; 

His hands were clasped, his weary head was laid, 

Upon the tomb where the White Maiden prayed ; 

Where the child's loye first dawned, his soul first 

spoke, 
The old man's heart there throbbed its last and broken 
The grave cathedral that had nursed his youth, 
Had helped his dreaming, and had taught him truth, 
Had seen his boyish grief and baby tears, 
And watched the sorrows and the joys of years, 
Had lit his fame and hope with sacred rays, 
And consecrated sad and happy days, 
Had blessed his happiness, and soothed his pain, 
iJow took her faithful servant home again. 

He rests in peace : some travellers mention yet 
An organist whose name they all forget. 
He has a holier and a nobler fame 
By poor men's hearths, who love and bless the namt 
Of a kind friend ; and in low tones to-day 
Speak tenderly of hiin who passed away. 
Too poor to help the daughter of their friend, 
They grieved to see the little pittance end ; 
To see her toil and strive with cheerful heart, 
To bear the lonely orphan's struggling part ; 
They grieved to see her go at last alone 
To English kinsmen she had never known : 
And here she came ; the foreign girl soon found 
Welcome, and love, and plenty all around, 
And here she pays it back with earnest will, 
By well-taught housewife watchfulness and skill ; 



68 



TEE ANGEL OF DEATH. 



Deep in her heart she holds her father's name, 
And tenderly and proudly keeps his fame ; 
And while she works with thrifty Belgian care, 
Past dreams of childhood float upon the air ; 
Some strange old chant, or solemn Latin hymn, 
That echoed through the old cathedral dim, 
"When as a little child each day she went 
To kneel and pray by an old tomb in Ghent. 



THE AXGEL OF DEATH. 




shouldst thou fear the beautiful 
angel, Death, 
"Who waits thee at the portals of the 
skies, 

Ready to kiss away thy struggling breath, 
Ready with gentle hand to close thine eyes ? 

How many a tranquil soul has passed away, 
Fled gladly from fierce pain and pleasures dim, 

To the eternal splendor of the day ; 

And many a troubled heart still calls for him. 

Spirits too tender for the battle here 

Have turned from life, its hopes, its fears, its 
charms ; 
And children, shuddering at a world so drear, 

Have smiling passed away into his arms. 

He whom thou fearest will, to ease its pain, 
Lay his cold hand upon thy aching heart : 



A DREAM. 69 

Will soothe the terrors of thy trouhled brain, 
And bid the shadow of earth's grief depart- 

He will give back what neither time, nor might, 
Nor passionate prayer, nor longing hope restore, 

(Dear as to long-blind eyes recovered sight,) 
He will give back those who are gone before. 

O, what were life, if life were all ? Thine eyes 
Are blinded by their tears, or thou wonldst see 

Thy treasures wait thee in the far-off skies, 

And Death, thy friend, will give them all to thee. 



A DREAM. 

LL yesterday I was spinning, 
Sitting alone in the sun ; 
And the dream that I spun was 6<J 
lengthy, 
It lasted till day was done. 

I heeded not cloud or shadow 

That flitted over the hill, 
Or the humming-bees, or the swallows, 

Or the trickling of the rill. 

I took the tlireads for my spinning, 

All of blue summer air, 
And a flickering ray of sunlight 

Was woven in here and there. 




7 o THE PRESENT. 

The shadows grew longer and longer, 
The evening wind passed by, 

And the purple splendor of sunset 
Was flooding the western sky. 

But I could not leave my spinning, 
For so fair my dream had grown, 

I heeded not, hour by hour, 
How the silent day had flown. 

At last the gray shadows fell round me, 
And the night came dark and chill, 

And I rose and ran down the valley, 
And left it all on the hill. 

I went up the hill this morning 

To the place where my spinning lay, — 

There was nothing but glistening dewdropg 
Remained of my dream to-day. 



THE PRESENT. 



not crouch to-day, and worship 
The old Past, whose life is fled ; 
Hush your voice to tender reverence ; 
Crowned he lies, but cold and dead J 
Por the Present reigns our monarch, 

With an added weight of hours ; 
Honor her, for she is mighty ! 
Honor her, for she is ours ! 




CHANGES. 

See the shadows of his heroes 

Girt around her cloudy throne ; 
Every day the ranks are strengthened 

By great hearts to him unknown ; 
Noble things the great Past promised, 

Holy dreams, both strange and new ; 
But the Present shall fulfil them, 

What he promised she shall do. 

She inherits all his treasures, 

She is heir to all his fame, 
And the light that lightens round her 

Is the lustre of his name ; 
She is wise with all his wisdom, 

Living on his grave she stands, 
On her brow she bears his laurels, 

And his harvest in her hands. 

Coward, can she reign and conquer 

If we thus her glory dim ? 
Let us fight for her as nobly 

As our fathers fought for him. 
God, who crowns the dying ages, 

Bids her rule, and us obey, — 
Bids us cast our lives before her, 

Bids us serve the great To-day. 



71 



CHANGES. 




OURN, O rejoicing heart ! 
The hours are flying ; 
Each one some treasure takes, 
Each one some blossom breaks, 



7 % STRIVE, WAIT, AND PRAY, 

And leaves it dying ; 
The chill dark night draws near, 

Thy sun will soon depart, 

And leave thee sighing ; 
Then mourn, rejoicing heart, 

The hours are flying ! 

Rejoice, O grieving heart ! 

The hours fly fast ; 
"With each some sorrow dies, 
"With each some shadow flies, 

Until at last 
The red dawn in the east 

Bids weary night depart, 

And pain is past. 
Rejoice then, grieving heart, 

The hours fly fast ! 



STRIVE, "WAIT, AXD PRAY. 

TRITE ; yet I do not promise 

The prize you dream of to-day- 
Will not fade when you think to grasp it, 
And melt in your hand away ; 
But another and holier treasure, 

You would now perchance disdain, 
"Will come when your toil is over, 
And pay you for all your pain. 

"Wait ; yet I do not tell you 
The horn* vou long for now 




A LAMEST FOR THE SUMMER. 73 

Will not come with its radiance vanished, 

And a shadow upon its brow ; 
Yet far tln'ough the misty future, 

"With a crown of starry light, 
An hour of joy you know not 

Is winging her silent flight. 

Pray ; though the gift you ask for 

May never comfort your fears, 
May never repay your pleading, 

Yet pray, and with hopeful tears ; 
An answer, not that you iong for, 

But diviner, will come oue day ; 
Your eyes are too dim to see it, 

Yet strive, and wait, and pray. 



A LAMENT FOR THE SUMMER. 

^OAN, O ye Autumn Winds ! 
Summer has fled, 
The flowers have closed their tendei 
leaves and die ; 
The lily's gracious head 
All low must lie, 

Because the gentle Summer now is dead. 

Grieve, O ye Autumn Winds ! 

Summer lies low; 
The rose's trembling leaves will soon be shed, 

For she that loved her so, 
Alas ! is dead, 

And one by one her loving children go. 




f4 THE UNKNOWN GRAV& 

Wail, O ye Autumn Winds ! 

She lives no more, 
The gentle Summer, with her balmy breath, 

Still sweeter than before 
When nearer death, 

And brighter every day the smile she wore ! 

Mourn, mourn, O Autumn Winds, 

Lament and mourn ; 
How many half-blown buds must close and die ; 

Hopes with the Summer born 
All faded lie, 

And leave us desolate and Earth forlorn ! 



THE UNKNOWN GRAVE. 

name to bid us know 
Who rests below, 
No word of death or birth, 
Only the grass's wave, 
Over a mound of earth, 
Over a nameless grave. 

Did this poor wandering heart 

In pain depart 1 
Longing, but all too late, 

For the calm home again, 
Where patient watchers wait, 

And still will wait in vain. 

Did mourners come in scorn, 
And thus forlorn 





GIVE ME THY HEART. 7S 

Leave him, with grief and shame, 

To silence and decay, 
And hide the tarnished name 

Of the unconscious clay % 

It may be from his side 

His loved ones died, 
And, last of some bright band, 

(Together now once more,) 
He sought his home, the land 

Where they had gone before. 

No matter, — limes have made 

As cool a shade, 
And lingering breezes pass 

As tenderly and slow, 
As if beneath the grass 

A monarch slept below. 

No grief, though loud and deep, 

Could stir that sleep ; 
And earth and heaven tell 

Of rest that shall not cease, 
Where the cold worlds farewell 

Fades into endless peace. 



GIVE ME THY HEART. 

ITH echoing steps the worshippers 
Departed one by one ; 
The organ's pealing voice was stilled, 
The vesper hymn was done ; 



76 GIVE ME THY I1EAKT. 

The shadows fell from roof and arch, 

Dim was the incensed air, 
One lamp alone, with trembling ray, 

Told of the Presence there ! 

In the dark church she knelt alone ; 

Her tears were tailing last ; 
" Help, Lord," she cried, " the shades of deatl? 

Upon my soul are cast ! 
Have I not shunned the path of sin, 

And chosen the better part ? " 
"What voice came through the sacred air ? — 

" My child, give me thy Heart ! " 

" Have I not laid before Thy shrine 

My wealth, Lord ? M she cried ; 
" Have I kept aught of gems or gold, 

To minister to pride ? 
Have I not bade youth's joys retire, 

And vain delights depart i " — 
But sad and tender was the voice,— 

" My child, give me thy Heart ! n 

" Have I not, Lord, gone day by day 

Where Thy poor children dwell ; 
And carried help, and gold, and food ? 

O Lord, Thou knowest it well ! 
From many a house, from many a soul, 

My hand bids care depart" : — 
•More sad, more tender was the voice, — 

u My child, give me thy Heart ! " 

" Have I not worn my strength away 
With fast and penance sore ? 



GIVE ME THY HEART. 77 

Have I not watched and wept ? " she cried; 

"Did Thy dear Saints do more ? 
Have I not gained Thy grace, O Lord, 

And won in Heaven my part % n — 
It echoed louder in her soul, — 

" My child, give me thy Heart! 

" For I have loved thee with a love 

No mortal heart can show ; 
A love so deep, my Saints in heaven 

Its depths can never know : 
"When pierced and wounded on the Cross, 

Man's sin and doom were mine, 
I loved thee with undying love, 

Immortal and divine ! 



" I loved thee ere the skies were spread ; 

My soul bears all thy pains ; 
To gain thy love my sacred Heart 

In earthly shrines remains : 
Vain are thy offerings, vain thy sigha, 

Without one gift divine; 
Give it, my child, thy Heart to me, 

And it shall rest in mine ! " 

In awe she listened, and the shade 

Passed from her soul away ; 
In low and trembling voice she cried, — 

" Lord, help me to obey ! 
Break Thou the chains of earth, Lord, 

That bind and hold my heart ; 
Let it be Thine, and Thine alone, 

Let none with Thee have part. 



7 S THE WAYSIDE INN 

m Send down, O Lord, Thy sacrod fii* 1 

Consume and cleanse the sin 
That lingers still within its depths : 

Let heavenly love begin. 
That sacred flame Thy Saints have known) 

Kindle, O Lord, in me, 
Thou above all the rest forever, 

And all the rest in Thee." 

The blessing fell upon her soul ; 

Her angel by her side • 

Knew that the hour of peace was come J 

Her soul was purified : 
The shadows fell from roof and arch, 

Dim was the incensed air, — 
But Peace went with her as she left 

The sacred Presence there ! 



THE WAYSIDE INN. 



LITTLE past the village 

The Inn stood, low and white ; 
Green shady trees behind it, 
And an orchard on the right ; 
Where over the green paling 

The red-cheeked apples hung, 
As if to watch how wearily 

The sign-board creaked and swung. 




THE WAYSIDE /A r .V. 

The heavy-laden branches, 

Over the road hung low, 
Reflected fruit or blossom 

From the wayside well below ; 
Where children, drawing water, 

Looked up and paused to see, 
Amid the apple-branches, 

A purple Judas-Tree. 

The road stretched winding onward 

For many a weary mile, — 
So dusty, foot-sore wanderers 

Would pause and rest awhile ; 
And panting horses halted, 

And travellers loved to tell 
The quiet of the wayside inn, 

The orchard, and the well. 

Here Maurice dwelt ; and often 

The sunburnt boy would stand 
Crazing upon the distance, 

And shading with his hand 
His eyes, while watching vainly 

For travellers, who might need 
His aid to loose the bridle, 

And tend the weary steed. 

And once (the boy remembered 

That morning many a day, — 
The dew lay on the hawthorn, 

The bird sang on the spray) 
A train of horsemen, nobler 

Than he had seen before, 
Up from the distance iralloped, 

And halted at the door. 



7* 



80 TEE WAYSIDE 7iWV. 

Upon a milk-white pony, 

Fit for a faery queen, 
Was the loveliest little damsel 

His eyes had ever seen : 
A serving-man was holding 1 

The leading rein, to guide 
The pony and its mistress, 

Who cantered by his side. 

Her sunny ringlets round her 

A golden cloud had made, 
While her large hat was keeping 

Her calm blue eyes in shade ; 
One hand held fast the silken reins 

To keep her steed in check, 
The other pulled his tangled mane, 

Or stroked his glossy neck. 

And as the boy brought water, 

And loosed the rein, he heard 
The sweetest voice that thanked him 

In one low gentle word ; 
She turned her blue eyes from him, 

Looked up, and smiled to see 
The hanging purple blossoms 

Upon the Judas-Tree ; 

And showed it with a gesture, 

Half pleading, half command, 
Till he broke the fairest blossom, 

And laid it in her hand ; 
And she tied it to her saddle 

With a ribbon from her hair, 
While her happy laugh rang gayly, 

Like silver on the air. 



THE WAYSIDE INN gi 

Bui the champing steeds were rested, — 

The horsemen now spurred on, 
And down the dusty highway 

They vanished and were gone. 
Years passed, and many a traveller 

Paused at the old inn-door, 
But the little milk-white pony 

And the child returned no more. 

Years passed, the apple-branches 

A deeper shadow shed ; 
And many a time the Judas-Tree, 

Blossom and leaf, lay dead ; 
When on the loitering western breeze 

Came the bells' merry sound, 
And flowery arches rose, and flag* 

And banners waved around. 

Maurice stood there expectant : 

The bridal train would stay 
Some moments at the inn-door, 

The eager watchers say ; 
They come, — the cloud of dust draws near, — 

'Mid all the state and pride, 
He only sees the golden hair 

And blue eyes of the bride. 

The same, yet, ah, still fairer ; 

He knew the face once more 
That bent above the pony's neck 

Years past at that inn-door : 
Her shy and smiling eyes looked round, 

Unconscious of the place, 
Unconscious of the eager gaze 

He fixed upon her face. 
6 



82 TEE WAYSIDE INN. 

He plucked a blossom from the tree — 

The Judas-Tree — and cast 
Its purple fragrance towards the Bride, 

A message from the Past. 
The signal came, the horses plunged,— 

Once more she smiled around : 
The purple blossom in the dust 

Lay trampled on the ground. 

Again the slow years fleeted, 

Their passage only known 
By the height the Passion-flower 

Around the porch had grown ; 
And many a passing traveller 

Paused at the old inn-door, 
But the bride, so fair and blooming; 

The bride returned no more. 

One winter morning, Maurice, 

Watching the branches bare, 
Rustling and waving dimly 

In the gray and misty air, 
Saw blazoned on a carriage 

Once more the well-known shield, 
The stars and azure fleurs-de-lis 

Upon a silver field. 

He looked — was that pale woman, 

So grave, so worn, so sad, 
The child, once young and smiling, 

The bride, once fair and glad ? 
What grief had dimmed that glory, 

And brought that dark eclipse 
Upon her blue eyes' radiance, 

And paled those trembling lipa t 



TEE WAYSIDE INN 

What memory of past sorrow, 

What stab of present pain, 
Brought that deep look of anguish, 

That watched the dismal rain, 
That watched (with the absent spirit 

That looks, yet does not see) 
The dead and leafless branches 

Upon the Judas- Tree. 

The slow dark months crept onward 

Upon their icy way, 
Till April broke in showers, 

And Spring smiled forth in May; 
Upon the apple-blossoms 

The sun shone bright again, 
When slowly up the highway 

Came a long funeral train. 

The bells tolled slowly, sadly, 

For a noble spirit fled; 
Slowly, in pomp and honor, 

They bore the quiet dead. 
Upon a black-plumed charger 

One rode, who held a shield, 
Where stars and azure fleurs-de-li« 

Shone on a silver field. 

'Mid all that homage given 

To a fluttering heart at rest, 
Perhaps an honest sorrow 

Dwelt only in one breast. 
One by the inn-door standing 

Watched with fast-droppiug tears 
The long procession passing, 

And thought of bygone years. 



84 VOICES OF TRE PAST. 

The boyish, silent homage 

To child and bride unknown, 
The pitying tender sorrow 

Kept in his heart alone, 
Now laid upon the coffin 

With a purple flower, might be 
Told to the cold, dead sleeper ; — 

The rest could only see 
A fragrant purple blossom. 

Plucked from a Judas-Tree. 



VOICES OF THE PAST. 

OU wonder that my tears should flow 
In listening to that simple strain ; 
That those unskilful sounds should fill 
My soul with joy and pain : 
How can you tell what thoughts it stirs 
Within my heart again ? 

You wonder why that common phrase, 

So all unmeaning to your ear, 
Should stay me in my merriest mood, 

And thrill my soul to hear : 
How can you tell what ancient charm 

Has made me hold it dear ? 

You marvel that I turn away 

From all those flowers so fair and brfght, 
And gaze at this poor herb, till tears 

Arise and dim my sight : 




THE DARK SIDE. 8 S 

You cannot tell how every leaf 
Breathes of a past delight. 

You smile to see me turn and speak 
With one whose converse you despise; 

You do not see the dreams of old 
• That with his voice arise : 

How can you tell what links have made 
Him sacred in my eyes ? 

O these are Voices of the Past, 

Links of a broken chain, 
Wings that can bear me back to Times 

Which cannot come again : 
Yet God forbid that I should lose 

The echoes that remain ! 



THE DAEK SIDE. 

HOU hast done well, perhaps, 
To lift the bright disguise, 
And lay the bitter truth 
Before our shrinking eyes ; 
When evil crawls below 

What seems so pure and fair, 
Thine eyes are keen and true 
To find the serpent there : 
And yet — I turn away ; 

Thy task is not divine, — 
The evil angels look 

On earth with eyes like thine. 




86 THE DARK SIDE. 

Thou hast done well, perhaps, 

To show how closely wound 
Dark threads of sin and self 

With our best deeds are found, 
How great and noble hearts, 

Striving for lofty aims, 
Have still some earthly chord 

A meaner spirit claims ; 
And yet — although thy task 

Is well and fairly done, 
Methinks for such as thou 

There is a holier one. 

Shadows there are, who dwell 

Among us, yet apart, 
Deaf to the claim of God, 

Or kindly human heart ; 
Voices of earth and heaven 

Call, but they turn away, 
And Love, through such black night. 

Can see no hope of day ; 
And yet — our eyes are dim, 

And thine are keener far : 
Then gaze till thou canst see 

The glimmer of some star. 

The black stream flows along 

Whose waters we despise, — 
Show us reflected there 

Some fragment of the skies ; 
'Neath tangled thorns and briers, 

(The task is fit for thee,) 
Seek for the hidden flowers, 

We are too blind to see ; 




A FIRST SORROW. 87 

Then will I thy great gift 

A crown and blessing call ; 
Angels look thus on men, 

AjicI God sees good in all ! 



A FIRST SORROW. 



T&SE ! this day shall shine, 
Forevermore, 
To thee a star divine, 
On Time's dark shore. 



Till now thy soul has been 

All glad and gay : 
Bid it awake, and look 

At grief to-day ! 

No shade has come between 

Thee and the sun ; 
Like some long childish dream 

Thy life has run : 

But now the stream has reached 

A dark, deep sea, 
And Sorrow, dim and crowned, 

Is waiting thee. 

Each of God's soldiers bears 

A sword divine : 
Stretch out thy trembling hands 

To-day for thine ! 



88 MURMURS. 

To each anointed Priest 
God's summons came : 

O Soul, he speaks to-day, 
And calls thy name. 

Then, with slow reverent step, 

And beating heart, 
From out thy joyous days 

Thou must depart. 

And, leaving all behind, 

Come forth alone, 
To join the chosen band 

Around the throne. 

Raise up thine eyes — be strong, 

Nor cast away 
The crown that God has given 

Thy soul to-day ! 



MURMURS. 




HY wilt thou make bright music 
Give forth a sound of pain ? 
Why wilt thou weave fair flowers 
Into a weary chain \ 



Why turn each cool gray shadow 

Into a world of fears ! 
Why say the winds are wailing ? 

Why call the dewdrops tears 1 



MURMURS, 89 

The voices of happy nature, 

And the Heaven's sunny gleam, 

Reprove thy sick heart's fancies, 
Upbraid thy foolish dream. 

Listen, and I will tell thee 

The song Creation sings, 
From the humming of bees in the heathei, 

To the flutter of angels' wings. 

An echo rings forever, 

The sound can never cease ; 
It speaks to God of glory, 

It speaks to Earth of peace. 

Not alone did angels sing it 

To the poor shepherds' ear ; 
But the sphered Heavens chant it, 

While listening ages hear. 

Above thy peevish wailing 

Rises that holy song ; 
Above Earth's foolish clamor, 

Above the voice of wrong. 

No creature of God's too lowly 

To murmur peace and praise : 
When the starry nights grow silent, 

Then speak the sunny days. 

So leave thy sick heart's fancies, 

And lend thy little voice 
To the silver song of glory 

That bids the world rejoice. 



GIVE. 



GIVE. 




EE the rivers flowing 
Downwards to the sea, 
Pouring all their treasures 
Bountiful and free : 
Yet to help their giving 
Hidden springs arise ; 
Or, if need be, showers 
Feed them from the skies ! 

Watch the princely flowers 

Their rich fragrance spread, 
Load the air with perfumes, 

From their beauty shed : 
Yet their lavish spending 

Leaves them not in dearth, 
With fresh life replenished 

By their mother earth ! 

Give thy heart's best treasurea,-* 

From fair Nature learn ; 
Give thy love — and ask not, 

Wait not a return ! 
And the more thou spendest 

From thy little store, 
With a double bounty, 

God will give thee more. 



MY JOURNAL 



91 




MY JOURNAL. 

T is a dreary evening ; 

The shadows rise and fall : 
With strange and ghostly changes, 
They flicker on the wall. 



Make the charred logs bnrn brighter ; 

I will show you, by their blaze, 
The half-forgotten record 

Of bygone things and days. 

Bring here the ancient volume ; 

The clasp is old and worn, 
The gold is dim and tarnished, 

And the faded leaves are torn. 



The dust has gathered on it, — 
There are so few who care 

To read what Time has written 
Of joy and sorrow there. 

Look at the first fair pages ; 

Yes, I remember all : 
The joys now seem so trivial, 

The griefs so poor and smalL 

Let us read the dreams of glory 
That childish fancy made ; 

Turn to the next few pages, 
And see how soon they fade. 



9 2 MY JOURNAL. 

Here, where still waiting, dreaming, 

For some ideal Life, 
The young heart all unconscious 

Had entered on the strife. 

See how this page is blotted : 

What, could those tears be mine 1 

How coolly I can read you 

Each blurred and trembling line. 

Now I can reason calmly, 
And, looking back again, 

Can see divinest meaning 

Threading each separate pain. 

Here strong resolve — how broken. $ 
Rash hope, and foolish fear, 

And prayers, which God in pity 
Refused to grant or hear. 

Nay, I will turn the pages 
To where the tale is told 

Of how a dawn diviner 

Flushed the dark clouds with gold 

And see, that light has gilded 
The story — nor shall set ; 

And, though in mist and shadow, 
You know I see it yet. 

Here — well, it does not matter, 

I promised to read all ; 
I know not why I falter, 

Or why my tears should fall; 



MY JOURNAL. 

You see each grief is noted ; 

Yet it was better so — 
I can rejoice to-day — the pain 

Was over, long ago. 

I read — my voice is failing, 
But you can understand 

How the heart beat that guided 
This weak and trembling hand. 

Pass over that long struggle, 
Read where the comfort came, 

Where the first time is written 
Within the book your name. 

Again it comes, and oftener, 
Linked, as it now must be, 

With all the joy or sorrow 
That Life may bring to me. 

So all the rest — you know it : 
Now shut the clasp again, 

And put aside the record 
Of bygone hours of pain. 

The dust shall gather on it, 
I will not read it more : 

Give me your hand — what was it 
We were talking of before ? 

I know not why — but tell me 
Of something gay and bright. 

It is strange — my heart is heavy, 
And my eyes are dim to-night. 



93 



A CHAIN. 



A CIIAIN. 




HE bond that links our souls together; 
Will it last through stormy weather? 
Will it moulder and decay 
As the long hours pass away ? 

Will it stretch if Fate divide us, 

When dark and weary hours have tried us ? 

O, if it look too poor and slight, 

Let us break the links to-night ! 

It was not forged by mortal hands, 

Or clasped with golden bars and bands ; 

Save thine and mine, no other eyes 

The slender link can recognize : 

In the bright light it seems to fade — 

And it is hidden in the shade ; 

While Heaven nor Earth have never heard, 

Or solemn vow, or plighted word. 

Yet what no mortal hand could make, 
No mortal power can ever break ; 
What words or vows could never do, 
No words or vows can make untrue ; 
And if to other hearts unknown 
The dearer and the more our own, 
Because too sacred and divine 
For other eyes, save thine and mine. 

And see, though slender, it is made 
Of Love and Trust, and can they fade f 



TEE PILGRIMS. 9S 

While, if too slight it seem, to bear 
The breathings of the summer air, 
We know that it could bear the weight 
Of a most heavy heart of late, 
And as each day and hour flew 
The stronger for its burthen grew. 

And, too, we know and feel again 
It has been sanctified by pain, 
For what God deigns to try with sorrow 
He means not to decay to-morrow ; 
But through that fiery trial last 
When earthly ties and bonds are past ; 
What slighter things dare not endure 
Will make our Love more safe and pure. 

Love shall be purified by Pain, 
And Pain be soothed by Love again : 
So let us now take heart and go 
Cheerfully on, through joy and woe ; 
No change the summer sun can bring, 
Or the inconstant skies of spring, 
Or the bleak winter's stormy weather, 
For we shall meet them, Love, together! 



THE PILGRIMS. 



HE way is long and dreary, 
The path is bleak and bare ; 
Our feet are worn and weary, 
But we will not despair. 




9 6 INCOMPLETENESS. 

More heavy was Thy burthen, 
More desolate Thy way ; — 
O Lamb of God who takest 
The sin of the world away, 
Have mercy on us. 

The snows lie thick around us 
In the dark and gloomy night ; 
And the tempest wails above us, 
And the stars have hid their light ; 
But blacker was the darkness 
Round Calvary's Cross that day; — 
O Lamb of God who takest 
The sin of the world away, 
Have mercy on us. 

Our hearts are faint with sorrow, 
Heavy and hard to bear ; 
For we dread the bitter morrow, 
But we will not despair : 
Thou knowest all our anguish, 
And Thou wilt bid it cease, — 
O Lamb of God who takest 
The sin of the world away, 
Give us Thy Peace ! 



INCOMPLETENESS. 

OTHIXG resting in its own completeness 
Can have worth or beauty : but alone 
Because it leads and tends to farthei 
sweetness, 
Fuller, higher, deeper than its own. 




INCOMPLETENESS. 97 

Spring's real glory dwells not in the meaning, 
Graeious though it be, of her blue hours ; 
But is hidden in her tender leaning 
To the Summer's richer wealth of flowers. 

Dawn is fair, because the mists fade slowly 
Into Day, which floods the world with light ; 
Twilight's mystery is so sweet and holy 
Just because it ends in starry Xight. 

Childhood's smiles unconscious graces borrow 
From Strife, that in a far-off future lies ; 
And angel glances (veiled now by Life's sorrow) 
Draw our hearts to some beloved eyes. 

Life is only bright when it proceedeth 
Towards a truer, deeper Life above ; 
Human Love is sweetest when it leadeth 
To a more divine and perfect Love. 

Learn the mystery of Progression duly : 
Do not call each glorious change, Decay ; 
But know we only hold our treasures truly, 
When it seems as if they passed away. 

Nor dare to blame God's gifts for incompleteness ; 
In that want their beauty lies : they roll 
Towards some infinite depth of love and sweetness, 
Bearing onward man's reluctant soul. 



98 A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 



A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 



IIRT round with nigged mountains 
HSfttfl The fair Lake Constance lies ; 
j£ In her blue heart reflected 
l%-^F^^1 Shine back the -starry skies ; 




And, watching each white cloudlet 

Float silently and slow, 
You think a piece of Heaven 

Lies on our earth below ! 

Midnight is there : and Silence, 

Enthroned in Heaven, looks down 
Upon her own calm mirror, 

Upon a sleeping town : 
For Bregenz, that quaint city 

Upon the Tyrol shore, 
Has stood above Lake Constance 

A thousand years and more, 

Her battlements and towers, 

From off their rocky steep, 
Have cast their trembling shadow 

For ages on the deep : 
Mountain, and lake, and valley, 

A sacred legend know, 
Of how the town was saved, one night, 

Three hundred years ago. 

Far from her home and kindred, 
A Tyrol maid had fled, 



A LEGEND OF BREGEXZ. 

To serve in the Swiss valleys, 
And toil for daily bread ; 

And every year that fleeted 
So silently and fast, 

Seemed to bear farther from her 
The memory of the Past. 



She served kind, gentle masters, 

Nor asked for rest or change ; 
Her friends seemed no more new ones. 

Their speech seemed no more strange ; 
And when she led her cattle 

To pasture every day, 
She ceased to look and wonder 

On which side Bregenz lay. 

She spoke no more of Bregenz, 

With longing and with tears ; 
Her Tyrol home seemed faded 

In a deep mist of years ; 
She heeded not the rumors 

Of Austrian war and strife ; 
Each day she rose contented, 

To the calm toils of life. 

Yet, when her master's children 

Would clustering round her stand, 
She sang them ancient ballads 

Of her own native land ; 
And when at morn and evening 

She knelt before God's throne, 
The accents of her childhood 

Rose to her lips alone. 



99 



foo A LEGEND OF 3REGANJ. 

And so she dwelt : the valley- 
More peaceful year by year ; 

When suddenly strange portents, 
Of some great deed seemed near. 

The golden corn was bending 
Upon its fragile stalk, 

While farmers, heedless of their fielJs, 
Paced up and down in talk. 

The men seemed stern and altered, 

With looks cast on the ground ; 
With anxious faces, one by one, 

The women gathered round ; 
All talk of flax, or spinning, 

Or work, was put away ; 
The very children seemed afraid 

To go alone to play. 

One day, out in the meadow 

With strangers from the town, 
Some secret plan discussing, 

The men walked up and down. 
Yet now and then seemed watching 

A strange uncertain gleam, 
That looked like lances 'mid the trees, 

That stood below the stream. 

At eve they all assembled, 

Then care and doubt were fled ; 
With jovial laugh they feasted ; 

The board was nobly spread. 
The elder of the village 

Rose up, his glass in hand, 
And cried, " We drink the downfall 

Of an accursed land ! 






. A LEGEND OF BREGENZ 

" The night is growing darker, 

Ere one more day is flown, 
Bregenz, our foemen's stronghold, 

Bregenz shall be our own ! " 
The women shrank in terror, 

(Yet Pride, too, had her part,) 
But one poor Tyrol maiden 

I'elt death within her heart. 

Before her stood fair Bregenz ; 

Once more her towers arose ; 
What were the friends beside her ? 

Only her country's foes ! 
The faces of her kinsfolk, 

The days of childhood flown, 
The echoes of her mountains, 

Reclaimed her as their own ! 

Notlring she heard around her, 

(Though shouts rang forth again,) 
Gone were the green Swiss valleys, 

The pasture, and the plain; 
Before her eyes one vision, 

And in her heart one cry, 
That said, " Go forth, save Bregenz, 

And then, if need be, die ! n 

With trembling haste and breathless, 

Witli noiseless step, she sped ; 
Horses and weary cattle 

Were standing in the shed ; 
She loosed the strong, white charger, 

That fed from out her hand, 
&he mounted, and she turned his heacj 

Towards her native land. 



A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 

Out — out into the darkness — 

Faster, and still more fast ; 
The smooth grass flies behind her, 

The chestnut wood is past , 
She looks up ; clouds arc heavy : 

Why is her steed so slow ? — 
Scarcely the wind beside them 

Can pass them as they go. 

" Faster ! " she cries, " faster ! n 

Eleven the church-bells chime : 
" O God," she cries, " help Bregenz, 

And bring me there in time ! " 
But louder than bells' ringing, 

Or lowing of the kine, 
Grows nearer in the midnight 

The rushing of the Rhine. 

Shall not the roaring waters 

Their headlong gallop check ? 
The steed draws back in terror, 

She leans upon his neck 
To watch the flowing darkness ; 

The bank is high and steep ; 
One pause — he staggers forward, 

And plunges in the deep. 

She strives to pierce the blackness, 

And looser throws the rein ; 
Her steed must breast the waters 

That dash above his mane. 
How gallantly, how nobly, 

He struggles through the foam, 
And see — in the far distance 

Shine out the lights of home ! 



XOJ 



A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 

Up the steep banks he bears her, 

And now, they rush again 
Towards the heights of Bregenz, 

That tower above the plain. 
They reach the gate of Bregenz, 

Just as the midnight rings, 
And out come serf and soldier 

To meet the news she brings. 

Bregenz is saved ! Ere daylight 

Her battlements are manned ; 
Defiance greets the army 

That marches on the land. 
And if to deeds heroic 

Should endless fame be paid, 
Bregenz does well to honor 

The noble Tyrol maid. 

Three hundred years are vanished, 

And yet upon the hill 
An old stone gateway rises, 

To do her honor still. 
And there, when Bregenz women 

Sit spinning in the shade, 
They see in quaint old carving 

The Charger and the Maid. 

And when, to guard old Bregenz, 

By gateway, street, and tower, 
The warder paces all night long 

And calls each passing hour ; 
"Nine," "ten," "eleven/' he cries aloud, 

And then (O crown of Eame !) 
When midnight pauses in the skies, 

He calls the maiden's name ! 




X04 A FAREWELL. 



A FAREWELL. 

ARE WELL, dream of mine ! 
I dare not stay ; 
The liour is come, and time 

Will not delay : 
Pleasant and dear to me 

Wilt thou remain ; 
No future hour 

Brings thee again. 

She stands, the Future dim, 

And draws me on, 
And shows me dearer joys, — 

But ihou art gone ! 
Treasures and Hopes more fair 

Bern's she for me, 
And yet I linger, 

O dream, with thee ! 

Other and brighter days 

Perhaps she brings , 
Deeper and holier songs 

Perchance she sings ; 
But thou and I, fair time, 

We too must sever : — 
O dream of mine, 

Farewell for ever ! 




SOWING AND REAPING. 105 



SOWING AND REAPING. 

OW with a generous hand ; 

Pause not for toil or pain ; 
Weary not through the heat of summer, 
Weary not through the cold spring 
rain ; 

But wait till the autumn comes 
For the sheaves of golden grain. 

Scatter the seed, and fear not, 

A table will be spread ; 
What matter if you are too weary 

To eat your hard-earned bread : 
Sow, while the earth is broken, 

For the hungry must be fed. 

Sow ; — wliile the seeds are lying 
In the warm earth's bosom deep, 

And your warm tears fall upon it, — 
They will stir in their quiet sleep ; 

And the green blades rise the quicker, 
Perchance, for the tears you weep. 

Then sow ; — for the hours are fleeting, 

And the seed must foil to-day ; 
And care not what hands shall reap it, 

Or if you shall have passed away 
Before the waving corn-fields 

Shall gladden, the sunny day. 






106 THE STORM. 

Sow ; and look onward, upward, 
Where the starry light appears, — 

Where, in spite of the coward's doubting, 
Or your own heart's trembling fears, 

You shall reap in joy the harvest 
You have sown to-day in tears. 



THE STORM. 




HE tempest rages wild and high, 
The waves lift up their voice and cry 
Fierce answers to the angry sky, — 
Miserere Domine, 



Through the black night and driving rain, 
A ship is struggling, all in vain, 
To live upon the stormy main ; — 

Miserere Domine, 

The thunders roar, the lightnings glare, 
Vain is it now to strive or dare ; 
A cry goes up of great despair, — 

Miserere Domine, 



The stormy voices of the main, 
The moaning wind and pelting rain 
Beat on the nursery window-pane : — 
Miserere Domine, 



WORDS. 107 

Warm curtained was the little bed, 
Soft pillowed was the little head ; 
" The storm will wake the child," they said : ~> 
Miserere Domine. 

Cowering among his pillows white 
He prays, his blue eyes dim with fright, 
" Father, save those at sea to-night ! " — 
Miserere Domine. 

The morning shone all clear and gay, 
On a ship at anchor in the bay, 
And on a little child at play, — 

Gloria tibi Domine t 



WORDS. 

ORDS are lighter than the cloud-foam 
Of the restless ocean spray ; 
Vainer than the trembling shadow 
That the next horn- steals away. 
By the fall of summer rain-drops 

Is the air as deeply stirred ; 
And the rose-leaf that we tread on 
Will outlive a word. 

Yet, on the dull silence breaking 
With a lightning flash, a Word, 

Bearing endless desolation 

On its blighting wings, I heard : 




log WORD 3. 

Earth can forge no keener weapon, 

Dealing surer death and pain, 
And the cruel echo answered 
Through long years again. 

I have known one word hang starlike 
O'er a dreary waste of years, 

And it only shone the brighter 

Looked at through a mist of tears ; 

While a weary wanderer gathered 
Hope and heart on Life's dark way, 

By its faithful promise, shining 
Clearer day by day. 

I have known a spirit, calmer 
Than the calmest lake, and clear 

As the heavens that gazed upon it, 
With no wave of hope or fear ; 

But a storm had swept across it, 
And its deepest depths were stirred, 

(Never, never more to slumber,) 
Only by a word. 

I have known a word more gentle 
Than the breath of summer air ; 

In a listening heart it nestled, 
And it lived forever there. 

Not the beating of its prison 
Stirred it ever, night or day ; 

Only with the heart's last throbbing 
Could it fade away. 

Words are mighty, words are living : 
Serpents with their venomous stings, 




A LOVE TOKEN. 109 

Or bright angels, crowding round us, 
With heaven's light upon their wings : 

Every word has its own spirit, 
True or false, that never dies ; 

Every word man's lips have uttered 
Echoes in God's skies. 



A LOVE TOKEN. 

O you grieve no costly offering 
To the Lady you can make ? 
One there is, and gifts less worthy 
Queens have stooped to take. 

Take a Heart of virgin silver, 
Fashion it with heavy blows, 

Cast it into Love's hot furnace 
When it fiercest glows. 

With Pain's sharpest point transfix it, 
And then carve, in letters fair, 

Tender dreams and quaint devices, 
Fancies sweet and rare. 

Set within it Hope's blue sapphire, 

Many-changing opal fears, 
Blood-red ruby-stones of daring, 

Mixed with pearly tears. 

And when you have wrought and labored 
Till the gift is all complete, 




A TRYST WITH DEATH. 

You may humbly lay your offering 
At the Lady's feet. 

Should her mood perchance be gracious, 
With disdainful, smiling pride, 

She will place it with the trinkets 
Glittering at her side. 



A TRYST WITH DEATH. 



AM footsore and very weary, 
But I trayel to meet a Friend : 

The way is long and dreary, 

But I know that it soon must end. 



He is travelling fast like the whirlwind, 
And though I creep slowly on, 

We are drawing nearer, nearer, 
And the journey is almost done. 

Through the heat of many summers, 
Through many a spring-time rain, 

Through long autumns and weary winters, 
I have hoped to meet him in vain. 

I know that he will not fail me, 
So I count every hour chime, 

Every throb of my own heart's beating, 
That tells of the flight of Time. 

On the day of my birth he plighted 
His kingly word to me : — 



FIDELIS. in 

I hare seen him in dreams so often, 
That Tknow what his smile must be. 

I have toiled through the sunny woodland, 
Through fields that basked in the light ; 

And through the lone paths in the forest 
I crept in the dead of night. 

I will not fear at his coming, 

Although I must meet him alone; 

He will look in my eyes so gently, 
And take my hand in his own. 

Like a dream all my toil will vanish, 
"When I lay my head on his breast : 

But the journey is very weary, 
And he only can give me rest ! 



FIDELIS. 

OU have taken back the promise 
That you spoke so long ago ; 
Taken back the heart you gave me, — 
I must even let it go. 
Where Love once has breathed, Pride dieth ; 

So I struggled, but in vain, 
First to keep the links together, 
Then to piece the broken chain. 

But it might not be — so freely 
All your friendship I restore, 







FIDELI8. 

And the heart that I had taken^ 

As my own for evermore. 
No shade of reproach shall touch you, 

Dread no more a claim from me : 
But I will not have you fancy 

That I count myself as free. 

I am bound by the old promise ; 

What can break that golden chain ? 
Not even the words that you have spoken, 

Or the sharpness of my pain : 
Do you think, because you fail me 

And draw back your hand to-day, 
That from out the heart I gave you 

My strong love can fade away ? 

It will live. No eyes may see it ; 

In my soul it will lie deep, 
Hidden from all ; but I shall feel it 

Often stirring in its sleep. 
So remember, that the friendship, 

"Which you now think poor and vain, 
Will endure in hope and patience, 

Till you ask for it again. 

Perhaps in some long twilight hour, 

Like those we have known of old, 
When past shadows gather round you, 

And your present friends grow cold, 
You may stretch your hands out towards me, ■ 

Ah ! you will — I know not when — 
I shall nurse my love and keep it 

Faithfully, for you, till them 



A SHADOW. 



113 




A SHADOW. 

HAT lack the valleys and mountains 
That once were green and gay ? 
What lack the babbling fountains ? 
Their voice is sad to-day. 
Only the sound of a voice, 
Tender and sweet and low, 
That made the earth rejoice, 
A year ago ! 



What lack the tender flowers ? 

A shadow is on the sun : 
What lack the merry hours, 

That I long that they were done ? 
Only two smiling eyes, 
That told of joy and mirth ; 
They are shining in the skiea, 
I mourn on earth ! 



What lacks my heart, that makes it 

So weary and full of pain, 
"That trembling Hope forsakes it, 
Never to come again ? 
Only another heart, 
Tender and all mine own, 
"l-n the still grwe it lies; 
I -weep alrre ! 



U4 



THE SAILOR BOY. 



THE SAILOR BOY. 




3Y Life you ask of? why, you know 
Full soon my little Life is told ; 
It has had no great joy or woe, 
For I am only twelve years old. 

Erelong I hope I shall have been 

On my first voyage, and wonders seen. 

Some princess I may help to free 

From pirates on a far-off sea ; 

Or, on some desert isle be left, 

Of friends and shipmates all bereft. 

For the first time I venture forth 
From our blue mountains of the north. 
My kinsman kept the lodge that stood 
Guarding the entrance near the wood, 
By the stone gateway gray and old, 
With quaint devices carved about, 
And broken shields ; while dragons bold 
Glared on the common world without ; 
And the long trembling ivy spray 
Half hid the centuries , decay. 
In solitude and silence grand 
The castle towered above the land : 
The castle of the Earl, whose name 
(Wrapped in old bloody legends) came 
Down through the times when Truth and Right 
Bent down to armed Pride and Might. 
He owned the country far and near ; 
And, for some weeks in every year, 
(When the brown leaves were falling fast 



THE SAILOR BOY. uj 

And the long, lingering autumn past,) 
He would come down to hunt the deer, 
With hound and horse in splendid pride. 
Tne story lasts the live-long year, 
The peasant's winter evening fills, 
When he is gone and they abide 
In the lone quiet of their hills. 

I longed, too, for the happy night, 
When, all with torches flaring bright, 
The crowding villagers would stand, 
A patient, eager, waiting band, 
Until the signal ran like flame, 
" They come ! " and, slackening speed, they came. 
Outriders first, in pomp and state, 
Pranced on their horses through the gate ; 
Then the four steeds as black as night, 
All decked with trappings blue and white, 
Drew through the crowd that opened wide, 
The Earl and Countess side by side. 
The stern grave Earl, with formal smile 
And glistening eyes and stately pride, 
Could ne'er my childish gaze beguile 
From the fair presence by his side. 
The lady's soft sad glance, her eyes, 
(Like stars that shone in summer skies,) 
Her pure white face so calmly bent, 
With gentle greetings round her sent ; 
Her look, that always seemed to gaze 
Where the blue past had closed again 
Over some happy shipwrecked days, 
With all their freight of love and pain : 
She did not even seem to see 
The little lord upon her knee. 



n6 THE SAILOR BOY, 

And yet he was like angel fair, 
With rosy cheeks and golden hair, 
That fell on shoulders white as snow : 
But the blue eyes that shone below 
His clustering rings of auburn curls 
Were not his mother's, but the Earl's. 

I feared the Earl, sc cold and grim, 
I never dared be seen by him. 
When through our gate he used to ride, 
My kinsman Walter bade me hide ; 
He said he was so stern. 
So, when the hunt came past our way, 
I always hastened to obey, 
Until I heard the bugles play 
The notes of their return. 
But she — my very heart-strings stir 
Whene'er I speak or think of her — 
The whole wide world could never see 
A noble lady such as she, 
So full of angel charity. 

Strange things of her our neighbors told 
In the long winter evenings cold, 
Around the fire. They would draw near 
And speak half-whispering, as in fear ; 
As if they thought the Earl could hear 
Their treason 'gainst his name. 
They thought the story that his pride 
Had stooped to wed a low-born bride, 
A stain upon his fame. 
Some said 't was false ; there could not be 
Such blot on his nobility : 
But others vowed that they had heard 



THE SAILOR BOY. 117 

The actual story word for word, 
From one who well my lady knew, 
And had declared the story true. 

In a far village, little known, 
She dwelt — so ran the tale — alone. 
A widowed bride, yet, oh ! so bright, 
Shone through the mist of grief, her charms; 
They said it was the loveliest sight — 
She with her baby in her arms. % 

The Earl, one summer morning, rode 
By the sea-shore where she abode ; 
Again he came — that vision sweet 
Drew him reluctant to her feet. 
Fierce must the struggle in his heart 
Have been, between his love and pride, 
Until he chose that wondrous part, 
To ask her to become his bride. 
Yet, ere his noble name she bore, 
He made her vow that nevermore 
She would behold her child again, 
But hide his name and hers from men. 
The trembling promise duly spoken, 
All links of the low past were broken ; 
And she arose to take her stand 
Amid the nobles of the land. 
Then all would wonder — could it be 
That one so lowly born as she, 
Raised to such height of bliss, should seem. 
Still living in some weary dream ? 
'T is true she bore with calmest grace 
The honors of her lofty place, 
Yet never smiled, in peace or joy, 
Not even to greet her princely boy. 



n8 THE SAILOR BOY. 

She heard, with face of white despair, 
The cannon thunder through the air, 
That she had given the Earl an heir. 
Kay, even more, (they whispered low, 
As if they scarce durst fancy so,) 
That, through her lofty wedded life, 
Ko word, no tone, betrayed the wife. 
Her look seemed ever in the past ; 
Kever to him it grew more sweet ; 
The self-same weary glance she cast 
Upon the greyhound at her feet, 
As upon him, who bade her claim 
The crowning honor of his name. 

This gossip, if old "Walter heard, 
He checked it with a scornful word: 
I never durst such tales repeat ; 
He was too serious and discreet 
To speak of what his lord might do ; 
Besides, he loved my lady too. 
And many a time, I recollect, 
They were together in the wood ; 
He, with an air of grave respect, 
And earnest look, uncovered stood. 
And though their speech I never heard, 
(Save now and then a louder word,) 
I saw he spake as none but one 
She loved and trusted durst have done ; 
For oft I watched them in the shade 
That the close forest branches made, 
Till slanting golden sunbeams came 
And smote the fir-trees into flame, 
A radiant glory round her lit, 
Then down her white robes seemed to flit, 



TEE SAILOR BOY. 119 

Gilding the brown leaves on the ground, 
And all the waving ferns around. 
While by some gloomy pine she leant 
And he in earnest talk would stand, 
I saw the tear-drops, as she bent, 
Fall on the flowers in her hand. — 
Strange as it seemed and seems to be, 
That one so sad, so cold as she, 
Could love a little child like me, 
Yet so it was. I never heard 
Such tender words as she would say, 
And murmurs, sweeter than a word, 
Would breathe upon me as I lay. 
While I, in smiling joy, would rest, 
For hours, my head upon her breast. 
Our neighbors said that none could sea 
In me the common childish charms, 
(So grave and still I used to be,) 
And yet she held me in her arms, 
In a fond clasp, so close, so tight, 
I often dream of it at night. 
She bade me tell her all, — no other 
My childish thoughts e'er cared to know : 
For I — I never knew my mother ; 
I was an orphan long ago. 
And I could all my fancies pour, 
That gentle, loving face before. 
She liked to hear me tell her all ; 
How that day I had climbed the tree, 
To make the largest fir-cones fall ; 
And how one day I hoped to bo 
A sailor on the deep blue sea, *— 
She loved to hear it all J 



zo THE SAILOR BOY. 

Then wondrous tilings she used to tell, 
Of the strange dreams that she had known. 
I used to love to hear them well, 
If only for her sweet low tone, 
Sometimes so sad, although I knew 
That such things never could be true. 
One day she told me such a tale 
It made me grow all cold and pale, 
The fearful thing she told ! 
Of a poor woman mad and wild 
Who coined the life-blood of her child, 
And, tempted by a fiend, had sold 
The heart out of her breast for gold. 
But when she saw me frightened seem, 
She smiled, and said it was a dream. 
When I look back and think of her, 
My very heart-strings seem to stir ; 
How kind, how fair she was, how good, 
I cannot tell you. If I could, 
You, too, would love her. The mere thought 
Of her great love for me has brought 
Tears in my eyes : though far away, 
It seems as it were yesterday. 
And just as when I look on high, 
Through the blue silence of the sky, 
Fresh stars shine out, and more and more, 
Where I could see so few before ; 
So, the more steadily I gaze 
Upon those far-off misty days, 
Fresh words, fresh tones, fresh memories start 
Before my eyes and in my heart. 
I can remember how one day 
(Talking in silly childish way) 
I said how happy I should be 



THE SAILOR BOY. 

*f I were like her son, — as fair, 
With just such bright blue eves as he, 
And such long locks of golden hair. 
A strange smile on her pale face broke, 
And in strange, solemn words she spoke : 
" My own, my darling one, — no, no ! 
I love you, far, far better so. 
I would not change the look you bear, 
Or one wave of your dark brown hair. 
The mere glance of your sunny eyes, 
Deep in my deepest soul I prize 
Above that baby fair ! 
Not one of all the EarFs proud line 
In beauty ever matched with thine ; 
And, 't is by thy dark locks thou art 
Bound even faster round my heart, 
And made more wholly mine ! " 
And then she paused, and weeping said, 
" You are like one who now is dead, — 
Who sleeps in a far-distant grave. 
O, may God grant that you may be 
As noble and as good as he, 
As gentle and as brave ! " 
Then in my childish way I cried, 
" The one you tell me of who died, 
Was he as noble as the Earl ? " 
I see her red lips scornful curl, 
I feel her hold my hand again, 
So tightly, that I shrink in pain, — 
I seem to hear her say, 
" He whom I tell you of, who died, 
He was so noble and so gay, 
So generous and so brave, 
That the proud Earl by his dear side 



22 THE SAILOR BOY. 

Would look a craven slave." 

She paused ; then, with a quivering sigh 

She laid her hand upon my brow : 

" Live like him, darling, and so die. 

Hemember that he tells you now, 

True peace, real honor, and content, 

In cheerful, pious toil abide ; 

That gold and splendor are but sent 

To curse our vanity and pride." 

One day some childish fever pain 
Burnt in my veins and fired my brain. 
Moaning, I turned from side to side ; 
And, sobbing in my bed, I cried, 
Till night in calm and darkness crept 
Around me, and at last I slept. 
When suddenly I woke to see 
The Lady bending over me. 
The drops of cold November rain 
Were falling from her long, damp hair ; 
Her anxious eyes were dim with pain ; 
Yet she looked wondrous fair. 
Arrayed for some great feast she came, 
With stones that shone and burnt like flame ; 
Wound round her neck, like some bright snake, 
And set like stars within her hair, 
They sparkled so, they seemed to make 
A glory everywhere. 
I felt her tears upon my face, 
Her kisses on my eyes ; 
And a strange thought I could not trace 
I felt within my heart arise ; 
And, half in feverish pain, I said : 
" if my mother were not dead 1 " 



TEE SAILOR BOY. 123 

And Walter bade me sleep ; but she 

Said, " Is it not the same to thee 

That / watch by thy bed ? " 

I answered her, " I love you, too ; 

But it can never be the same ; 

She was no Countess like to you, 

Nor wore such sparkling stones of flame.* 

the wild look of fear and dread ! 
The cry she gave of bitter woe ! 

1 often wonder what I said 

To make her moan and shudder so. 
Through the long night she tended me 
With such sweet care and charity. 
But I should weary you to tell 
All that I know and love so well : 
Yet one night more stands out alone 
With a sad sweetness all its own. 

The wind blew loud that dreary night : 
Its wailing voice I well remember ; 
The stars shone out so large and bright 
Upon the frosty fir-boughs white, 
That dreary night of cold December. 
I saw old Walter silent stand, 
Watching the soft, white flakes of snow 
With looks I could not understand, 
Of strange perplexity and woe. 
At last he turned and took my hand, 
And said the Countess just had sent 
To bid us come ; for she would fain 
See me once more, before she went 
Away — never .to come again. 
We came in silence through the wood 
(Our footfall was the only sound)' 



124 THE SAILOR BOY. 

To where the great white eastle stood, 

With darkness shadowing it around. 

Breathless, we trod with cautious care 

Up the great echoing marble stair ; 

Trembling, by Walter's hand I held, 

Scared by the splendors I beheld : 

Now thinking, " Should the Earl appear ! " 

Now looking up with giddy fear 

To the dim, vaulted roof that spread 

Its gloomy arches overhead. 

Long corridors we softly passed, 

(My heart was beating loud and fast,) 

And reached the Lady's room at last : 

A strange, faint odor seemed to weigh 

Upon the dim and darkened air ; 

One shaded lamp, with softened ray, 

Scarce showed the gloomy splendor there. 

The dull red brands were burning low, 

And yet a fitful gleam of light 

Would now and then, with sudden glow, 

Start forth, then sink again in night. 

I gazed around, yet half in fear, 

Till Walter told me to draw near : 

And in the strange and flickering light, 

Towards the Lady's bed I crept ; 

All folded round with snowy white, 

She lay ; (one would have said she slept ;) 

So still the look of that white face, 

It seemed as it were carved in stone, 

I paused before I dared to place 

Within her cold white hand my own. 

But, with a smile of sweet surprise, 

She turned to me her dreamy eyes ; 

And slowly, as if life were pain, 



THE SAILOR BOY. 125 

She drew mc in her arms to lie : 

She strove to speak, and strove in vain ; 

Each breath was like a long-drawn sigh. 

The throbs that seemed to shake her breast, 

The trembling clasp, so loose and weak, 

At last grew calmer, and at rest ; 

And then she strove once more to speak : 

" My God, I thank thee, that my pain 

Of day by day, and year by year, 

Has not been suffered all in vain, 

And I may die while he is near. 

I will not fear but that Thy grace 

Has swept away my sin and wot, 

And sent this little angel face, 

In my last hour, to tell me so." 

(And here her voice grew faint and low,) 

" My child, where'er thy life may go, 

To know that thou art brave and true, 

Will pierce the highest heavens through, 

And even there my soul shall be 

More joyful for this thought of thee." 

She folded her white hands, and stayed ; 

All cold and silently she lay : 

I knelt beside the bed, and prayed 

The prayer she used to make me say. 

I said it many times, and then 

She did not move, but seemed to be 

In a deep sleep, nor stirred again. 

No sound woke in the silent room, 

Or broke the dim and solemn gloom, 

Save when the brands that burnt so low, 

With noisy, fiiml gleam of light, 

Would spread around a sudden glow, 

Then sink in silence and in night. 



126 



THE SAILOR BOY. 



How long I stood I do not know : 
At last poor Walter came, and said 
(So sadly) that we now must go, 
And whispered, she we loved was dead. 
He bade me kiss her face once more, 
Then led me sobbing to the door. 
1 scarcely knew what dying meant, 
Yet a strange grief, before unknown, 
Weighed on my spirit as we went 
And left her lying all alone. 

We went to the far North once mon^ 
To seek the well-remembered home 
Where my poor kinsman dwelt before, 
Whence now he was too old to roam ; 
And there six happy years we past, 
Happy and peaceful till the last ; 
When poor old Walter died, aod he 
Blessed me and said I now might be 
A sailor on the deep blue sea. 
And so I go ; and yet in spite 
Of all the joys I long to know, 
Though I look onward with delight, 
With something of regret I go ; 
And young or old, on land or sea, 
One guiding memory I shall take, — 
Of what She prayed that I might be> 
And what I will be for her sake ! 







THE LESSON OF TUB WAR. 127 
A (JROWN OF SORROW. 



SORROW, wet with early tears 
Yet bitter, had been long with ms; 

I wearied of this weight of years, 
And would be free. 



I tore my Sorrow from my heart, 

I cast it far away in scorn ; 
Right joyful that we two could part, 
Yet most forlorn. 

I sought, (to take my Sorrow's place,) 

Over the world for flower or gem ; 
But she had had an ancient grace 
Unknown to them. 

I took once more with strange delight 
My slighted Sorrow ; proudly now" 
I wear it, set with stars of light, 
Upon my brow. 



THE LESSON OF THE WAR. 
1855. 




HE feast is spread through England 
For rich and poor to-day ; 
Greetings and laughter may be there 
But thoughts are far away ; 



128 THE LESSON OF THE WAR. 

Over the stormy ocean, 

Over the dreary track, 
Where some are gone, whom England 

Will never welcome back. 

Breathless she waits, and listens 

For every eastern breeze 
That bears upon its bloody wings 

News from beyond the seas. 
The leafless branches stirring 

Make many a watcher start ; 
The distant tramp of steed may send 

A throb from heart to heart. 

The rulers of the nation, 

The poor ones at their gate, 
Witli the same eager wonder 

The same great news await. 
The poor man's stay and comfort, 

The rich man's joy and pride, 
Upon the bleak Crimean shore 

Are fighting side by side. 

The bullet comes — and either 

A desolate hearth may see ; 
And God alone to-night knows where 

The vacant place may be ! 
The dread that stirs the peasant 

Thrills nobles' hearts with fear; 
Yet above selfish sorrow 

Both hold their country dear. 

The rich man who reposes 
In his ancestral shade, 



THE LESSON OF THE WAR. ia 9 

The peasant at his ploughshare, 

The worker at his trade, 
Each one his all has perilled, 

Each has the same great stake, 
Each soul can but have patience, 

Each heart can only break ! 

Hushed is all party clamor ; 

One thought in every heart, 
One dread in every household, 

Has bid such strife depart. 
England has called her children ; 

Long silent — the word came 
That lit the smouldering ashes 

Through all the land to flame. 

O you who toil and suffer, 

You gladly heard the call ; 
But those you sometimes envy 

Have they not given their all f 
O you who rule the nation, 

Take now the toil-worn hand : 
Brothers you are in sorrow, 

In duty to your land. 
Learn but this noble lesson 

Ere Peace returns again, 
And the life-blood of Old England 

Will not be shed in vain. 




130 THE TWO SPIRITS. 

THE TWO SPIRITS. 

1855. 

]AST night, when weary silence fell on all, 
And starless skies arose so dim and 
vast, 
I heard the Spirit of the Present call 
Upon the sleeping Spirit of the Past. 
Far off and near, I saw their radiance shine, 
And listened while they spoke of deeds divine. 

The Spirit of the Past. 
My deeds are writ in iron ; B 

My glory stands alone ; 
A veil of shadowy honor 

Upon my tombs is thrown ; 
The great names of my heroes 

Like gems in history he ; 
To live they deemed ignoble, 

Had they the chance to die ! 

The Spirit of the Present, 

My children, too, are honored ; 

Dear shall their memory be 
To the proud lands that own them ; 

Dearer than thine to thee ; 
For, though they hold that sacred 
Is God's great gift of life, 

At the first call of duty 

They rush into the strife I 



THE TWO SPIRITS. ^ 

The Spirit of the Past. 
Then, with all valiant precepts 

Woman's soft heart was fraught ; 
"Death, not dishonor," echoed 

The war-cry she had taught. 
Fearless and glad, those mothers, 

At bloody deaths elate, 
Cried out they bore their children 

Only for such a fate ! 

The Spirit of the Present. 

Though such stern laws of honor 

Are faded now away, 
Yet many a mourning mother, 

With nobler grief than they, 
Bows down in sad submission : 

The heroes of the fight 
Learnt at her knee the lesson, 

" For God and for the Right ! " 

The Spirit of the Past, 

No voice there spake of sorrow : 

They saw the noblest fall 
With no repining murmur ; 

Stern Fate was lord of all. 
And when the loved ones perished, 

One cry alone arose, 
Waking the startled echoes, 

" Vengeance upon our foes ! * 

The Spirit of the Present. 
Grief dwells in France and England 
For many a noble son ; 



«o« 



THE TWO SPIRITS. 

Yet louder than the sorrow, 
« Thy Willi O God, be done ! " 

From desolate homes is rising 

One prayer, — " Let carnage cease! 

On friends and foes have mercy, 
O Lord, and give us peace ! " 

The Spirit of the Past. 
Then, every hearth was honored 

That sent its children forth, 
To spread their country's glory, 

And gain her south or north. 
Then, little recked they numbers, 

No band would ever fly, 
But stern and resolute they stood 

To conquer or to die. 

The Spirit of the Present. 

And now from France and England 

Their dearest and their best 
Go forth to succor freedom, 

To help the much oppressed ; 
Now, let the far-off Future 

And Past bow down to-day, 
Before the few young hearts that hold 

Whole armaments at bay. 

The Spirit of the Past. 

Then, each one strove for honor, 
Each for a deathless name ; 

Love, home, rest, joy, were offered 
As sacrifice to Fame. 






A LITTLE LOGGER. 133 

They longed that in far ages 
Their deeds might still be told, 

And distant times and nations 
Their names in honor hold. 

The Spirit of the Present. 
Though nursed by such old legends, 

Our heroes of to-day 
Go cheerfully to battle 

As children go to play , 
They gaze with awe and wonder 

On your great names of pride, 
Unconscious that their own will shine 

In glory side by side ! 

Day dawned ; and as the Spirits passed away, 
Methought I saw, in the dim morning gray, 
The Past's bright diadem had paled before 
The starry crown the glorious Present wore. 



A LITTLE LONGER. 




LITTLE longer yet — a little longer, 
Shall violets bloom for thee, and sweet 

birds sing ; 
And the lime-branches, where soft winds 
are blowing, 
Shall murmur the sweet promise of the Spring ! 

A little longer yet — a little longer, 
Thou shalt behold the quiet of the morn ; 



134 



A LITTLE LONGER. 



While tender grasses and awakening flowers 
Send up a golden mist to greet the dawn 1 

A little longer yet — a little longer, 
The tenderness of twilight shall be thine, 
The rosy clouds that float o'er dying daylight, 
Nor fade till trembling stars begin to shine. 

A little longer yet — a little longer, 

Shall starry night be beautiful for thee ; 

And the cold moon shall look through the blue 

silence, 
Flooding her silver path upon the sea. 

A little longer yet — a little longer, 
Life shall be thine ; life with its power to will ; 
Life with its strength to bear, to love, to conquer, 
Bringing its thousand joys thy heart to fill. 

A little longer yet — a little longer, 

The voices thou hast loved shall charm thine ear ; 

And thy true heart, that now beats quick to heal 

them, 
A little longer yet shall hold them dear. 

A little longer yet — joy while thou mayest ; 
Love and rejoice ! for time has naught in store : 
And soon the darkness of the grave shall bid thee 
Love and rejoice and feel and know no more. 



A little longer still — Patience, Beloved: 
A little longer still, ere Heaven unroll 



GRIEF. 135 

The Glory, and the Brightness, and the Wonder, 
Eternal, and divine, that waits thy Soul ! 

A little longer ere Life true, immortal, 

(Not this our shadowy Life,) will be thine own; 

And thou shalt stand where winged Archangels 

worship, 
And trembling bow before the Great White Throne. 

A little longer still, and Heaven awaits thee, 
And fills thy spirit with a great delight ; 
Then our pale joys will seem a dream forgotten, 
Our Sun a darkness, and our Day a Night. 

A little longer, and thy Heart, Beloved, 

Shall beat forever with a Love divine ; 

And joy so pure, so mighty, so eternal, 

No creature knows and lives, will then be thine* 

A little longer yet — and angel voices 
Shall ring in heavenly chant upon thine ear ; 
Angels and Saints await thee, and God needs thee : 
Beloved, can we bid thee linger here I 



GRIEF. 

N ancient enemy have I, 
And either he or I must die ; 
For he never leaveth me, 
Never gives my soul relief, 
Never lets my sorrow cease, 
Never gives my spirit peace, — 
For mine enemy is Grief! 




136 GRIEF. 

Pale he is, and sad and stern ; 
And whene'er he cometh nigh, 
Blue and dim the torches burn, 
Pale and shrunk the roses turn ; 
While my heart that he has pierced 
Many a time with fiery lance, 
Beats and trembles at his glance : 
Clad in burning steel is he, 
All my strengtli he can defy; 
For he never Ieaveth me — 
And one of us must die ! 



I have said, " Let ancient sages 
Charm me from my thoughts of pain ! * 
So I read their deepest pages, 
And I strove to think — in vain ! 
Wisdom's cold, calm words I tried, 
But he was seated by my side : — 
Learning I have won in vain ; 
She cannot rid me of my pain* 

When at last soft sleep comes o'er me, 
A cold hand is on my heart ; 
Stern sad eyes are ther* before me ; 
Kot in dreams will he depart : 
And when the same dreary vision 
Prom my weary brain lias fled, 
Daylight brings the living phantom, 
He is seated by my bed, 
Bending o'er me all the while, 
Witli his cruel> bitter smile, 
Ever with me, ever nigh ; — ■ 
And either he or I must die i 



GRIEF. 1 37 

Then I said, long time ago, 
" I will flee to other climes, 
I will leave mine ancient foe ! " 
Though I wandered far and wide — 
Still he followed at my side. 

And I fled where the blue waters 
Bathe the sunny isles of Greece ; 
Where Thessalian mountains rise 
Up against the purple skies ; 
Where a haunting memory liveth 
In each wood and cave and rill ; 
But no dream of gods could help me, — 
He went with me still ! 

I have been where Nile's broad river 
Flows upon the burning sand ; 
Where the desert monster broodeth, 
Where the Eastern palm-trees stand ; 
I have been where pathless forests 
Spread a black eternal shade ; 
Where the lurking panther hiding 
Glares from every tangled glade ; 
But in vain I wandered wide, 
He was always by my side ! 

Then I fled where snows eternal 
Cold and dreary ever lie ; 
Where the rosy lightnings gleam, 
Flashing through the northern sky; 
Where the red sun turns again 
Back upon his path of pain ; — 
But a shadowy form was with me, — 
I had fled in vain ! 



138 GRIEF, 

I have thought, " If I can gazC 
Sternly on him he will fade, 
For I know that he is nothing 
But a dim ideal shade." 
As I gazed at him the more, 
He grew stronger than before ! 

Then I said, "Mine arm is strong, 
I will make him turn and flee " ; 
I have struggled with him long — 
But that could never be ! 

Once I battled with him so 
That I thought I laid him low; 
Then in trembling joy I fled, 
While again and still again 
Murmuring to myself I said, 
" Mine old enemy is dead ! " 
And I stood beneath the stars, 
When a chill came on my frame, 
And a fear I could not name, 
And a sense of quick despair, 
And, lo ! — mine enemy was there ! 

Listen, for my soul is weary, 
Weary of its endless woe ; 
I have called on one to aid me 
Mightier even than my foe 
Strength and hope fail day by day; 
I shall cheat him of his prey ; 
Some day soon, I know not when, 
He will stab me through and through; 
He has wounded me before, 
But my heart can bear no more ; 




THE TRIUMPH OF TIME. i 39 

Pray thafc hour may come to me, 
Only then shall I be free; 
Death alone has strength to take me 
Where my foe can never be ; 
Death, and Death alone, has power 
To conquer mine old enemy ! 



THE TRIUMPH OF TIME. 

HE tender, delicate Flowers, 
I saw them fanned by a warm western 

wind, 
Fed by soft summer showers, 
Shielded by care, and yet, (O Fate unkind !) 
Fade in a few short hours. 

The gentle and the gay, 
Rich in a glorious Future of bright deeds, 

Rejoicing in the day, 
Are met by Death, who sternly, sadly leads 
Them far away. 

And Hopes, perfumed and bright, 
So lately shining, wet with dew and tears, 

Trembling in morning light ; 
I saw them change to dark and anxious fears 
Before the night ! 

I wept that all must die : 
u Yet Love," I cried, " doth live, and conquer 
death — " 
And Time passed by, 



i4-o A PARTING. 

And breathed on Love, and killed it with his breath 
Ere Death was nigh. 

More bitter far than all 
It was to know that Love could change and die ! — 

Hush ! for the ages call, 
' The Love of God lives through eternity, . 
And conquers all 1 M 



A PARTING. 

pITHOUT one bitter feeling let us part, — 
And for the years in which your love 

has shed 
A radiance like a glory round my head, 
I thank you, yes, I thank you from my heart. 

I thank you for the cherished hope of years, 
A starry future, dim and yet divine, 
Winging its way from Heaven to be mine, 

Laden with joy, and ignorant of tears. . 

I thank you, yes, I thank you even more 

That my heart learnt not without love to live, 
But gave and gave, and still had more to give, 

From an abundant and exhaustless store. 

I thank you, and no grief is in these tears ; 
I thank you, not in bitterness but truth, 
For the fair vision that adorned my youth 

And glorified so many happy years. 




A PARTING. 141 

Yet how much more I thank you that you tore 
At length the veil your hand had woven away, 
Which hid my idol was a thing of clay, 

And false the altar I had knelt before. 

I thank you that you taught me the stern truth, 
(None other could have told and I believed,) 
That vain had been my life, and I deceived, 

And wasted all the purpose of my youth. 

I thank you that your hand dashed down the shrine, 
Wherein my idol worship I had paid ; 
Else had I never known a soul was made 

To serve and worship only the Divine. 

I. thank you that the heart I cast away 

On such as you, though broken, bruised, and 

crushed, 
Now that its fiery throbbing is all hushed, 

Upon a worthier altar I can lay. 

I thank you for the lesson that such love 
Is a perverting of God's royal right, 
That it is made but for the Infinite, 

And all too great to live except above. 

I thank you for a terrible awaking, 

And if reproach seemed hidden in my pain, 
And sorrow seemed to cry on your disdain, 

Know that my blessing lay in your forsaking, 

farewell for ever now : — in peace we part ; 
And should an idle vision of my tears 
Arise before your soul in after years, 

Eemember that I thank you from my heart ' 




i 4 z THE GOLDEN GATE, 



THE GOLDEN GATE. 

HIM shadows gather thickly round, and 
up the misty stair they climb, 
The cloudy stair that upward leads to 
where the closed portals shine, 
Round which the kneeling spirits wait the opening 
of the Golden Gate. 

And some with eager longing go, still pressing for- 
ward, hand in hand, 

And some, with weary step and slow, look back 
where their Beloved stand : 

Yet up the misty stair they climb, led onward by 
the Angel Time. 

As unseen hands roll back the doors, the light that 

floods the very air 
Is but the shadow from within, of the great glory 

hidden there : 
And morn and eve, and soon and late, the shadows 

pass within the gate. 

As one by one they enter in, and the stern portals 

close once more, 
The halo seems to linger round those kneeling 

closest to the door : 
The joy that lightened from that place shines still 

upon the watcher's face. 

The faint low echo that we hear of far-off music 
seems to fill 



PHANTOMS. i 43 

The silent air with love and fear, and the world's 

clamors all prow still, 
Until the portals close again, and leave us toiling 

on in pain. 

Complain not that the way is long, — what road is 

weary that leads there ? 
But let the Angel take thy hand, and lead thee up 

the misty stair, 
And then with beating heart await the opening of 

the Golden Gate. 



PHANTOMS. 

ACK, ye Phantoms of the Past ; 
In your dreary caves remain : 
"What have I to do with memories 
Of a long-forgotten pain ? 

For my Present is all peaceful, 
And my Future nobly planned : 

Long ago Time's mighty billows 
Swept your footsteps from the sand. 

Back into your caves ; nor haunt mo 
With your voices full of woe ; 

I have buried grief and sorrow 
In the depths of Long-ago. 

See the glorious clouds of morning 
Roll away, and clear and bright 




144 PHANTOMS. 

Shine the rays of cloudless daylight : — 
Wherefore will ye moan of night ? 

Never shall my heart be burthened 
With its ancient woe and fears ; 

I can drive them from my presence, 
I can check these foolish tears. 

Back, ye Phantoms ; leave, O leave me, 

To a new and happy lot ; 
Speak no more of things departed ; 

Leave me — for I know ye not. 

Can it be that 'mid my gladness 
I must ever hear you wail, 

Of the grief that wrung my spirit, 
And that made my cheek so pale ? 

Joy is mine ; but your sad voices 
Murmur ever in mine ear : 

Vain is all the Future's promise, 
While the dreary Past is here. 

Vain, O worse than vain, the Visions 
That my heart, my life, would fill, 

If the Past's relentless phantoms 
Call upon me still ! 




THANKFULNESS. > 45 



THANKFULNESS. 

^Y God, I thank Thee who hast made 
The Earth so bright ; 
So full of splendor and of joy, 
Beauty and light ; 
So maay glorious things are here, 
Noi>*a and right ! 

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made 

Joy to abound ; 
So many gentle thoughts and deeds 

Circling us round, 
That in the darkest spot of Earth 

Some love is foand. 

I thank Thee more that all our joy 

Is touched with pun. ; 
That shadows fall on brig h&st hours ; 

That thorns remain ; 
So that Earth's bliss may be our guiiX 

And not our chain. 

For Thou who knowest, Lord, how wooe 

Our weak heart clings, 
Hast given us joys, tender and true* 

Yet all with wings, 
So that we see, gleaming on high, 

Diviner things 1 

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kcpo 
The best in store ; 
10 






146 HOMESICKNESS. 

We have enough, yet not too much 

To long for more : 
A yearning for a deeper peaee, 

Not known before. 

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our soi^ v 

Though amply blest, 
Can never find, although they seek, 

•A perfect rest — 
Nor ever shall, until they lean 

On Jesus' breast I 



HOME-SICKNESS. 




HERE I am, the halls are gilded, 

Stored with pictures bright tat* -at*© , 
Strains of deep melodious music 
Float upon the perfumed air : 
Nothing stirs the dreary silence 

Save the melancholy sea, 
Near the poor and humble cottage, 
Where I fain would be ! 



Where I am, the sun is shining, 
And the purple windows glow, 

Till their rich armorial shadows 
Stain the marble floor below : — 

Faded autumn leaves are trembling 
On the withered jasmine-tree, 

Creeping round the little casement^ 
Where I fain would be ! 



HOMESICKNESS. I4 > 

Where I am, the days are passing 
O'er a pathway strewn with flowers ; 

Song and joy and starry pleasures 
Crown the happy, smiling hours : — » 

Slowly, heavily, and sadly, 

Time with weary wings must flee, 

Marked by pain, and toil, and sorrow, 
Where I fain would be ! 

Where I am, the great and noble 

Tell me of renown and fame, 
And the red wine sparkles highest, 

To do honor to my name : — 
Far away a place is vacant, 

By a humble hearth, for me, 
Dying embers dimly show it, 
Where I fain would be ! 

Where I am are glorious dreamings, 

Science, genius, art divine ; 
And the great minds whom all honor 

Interchange their thoughts with mine : — • 
A few simple hearts are waiting, 

Longing, wearying, for me, 

Far away where tears are falling, 

Where I fain would be ! 

Where I am, all think me happy, 

For so well I play my part, 
None can guess, who smile around me, 

How far distant is my heart, — 
Far away, in a poor cottage, 

Listening to the dreary sea, 
Where the treasures of my life are, 
Where I fain would be ! 



14* 



WISHES. 



WISHES. 




|LL the fluttering wishes 
Caged within thy heart 
H Beat their wings against it, 
Longing to depart, 
Till they shake their prison 
With their wounded cry ; 
Open wide thy heart to-day, 
And let the captives fly. 

Let them first fly upward 

Through the starry air, 
Till you almost lose them, 

For their home is there ; 
Then, with outspread pinions, 

Circling round and round, 
Wing their way wherever 

Want and woe are found. 

Where the weary stitcher 

Toils for daily bread ; 
Where the lonely watcher 

Watches by her dead ; 
Where, with thin, weak fingers, 

Toiling at the loom, 
Stand the little children, 

Blighted ere they bloom ; — 

Where, by darkness blinded, 

Groping for the light, 
With distorted conscience, 

Men do wrong for right ; 



THE PEACE OF GOD. 

Where, in the cold shadow, 
By smootli pleasure thrown, 

Human hearts by hundreds 
Harden into stone ; — 

Where on dusty- highways, 

With faint heart and slow 
Cursing the glad sunlight, 

Hungry outcasts go ; 
Where all mirth is silenced, 

And the hearth is chill, 
For one place is empty, 

And one voice is still. 

Some hearts will be lighter 

While your captives roam 
For their tender singing, 

Then recall them home ; 
When the sunny hours 

Into night depart, 
Softly they will nestle 

In a quiet heart. 



*4* 



THE PEACE OF GOD. 







E ask for Peace, O Lord J 

Thy children ask Thy Peace ; 
Not what the world calls rest, 
That toil and care should ceasA 
That through bright sunny hours 
Calm Life should fleet away, 



l S o THE PEACE OF GOD. 

And tranquil night should fade 
In smiling day ; — 
It is not for such Peace that we would praj. 

We ask for Peace, O Lord ! 

Yet not to stand secure, 
Girt round with iron Pride, 

Contented to endure : 
Crushing the gentle strings 

That human hearts si ould know, 
Untouched by others' joy 
Or others' woe ; — 
Thou, dear Lord, wilt never teach us so. 

We ask Thy Peace, Lord ! 

Through storm, and fear, and strife, 
To light and guide us on, 

Through a long, struggling life : 
While no success or gain 

Shall cheer the desperate fight, 
Or nerve, what the world calls, 
Our wasted might : — 
Vet pressing through the darkness to the light 

It is Thine own, Lord, 

Who toil while others sleep ; - 
Who sow with loving care 

What other hands shall reap : 
They lean on Thee entranced, 

In calm and perfect rest : 
Give us that Peace, O Lord, 
Dhinft^d blest, 
P\>ri Js^ep^t f vr *=*e hearts who love Thee best 



LIFE IN DEATH, ETC 



151 



LIFE 1*7 JPEATH AND DEATH IN LIFE, 




F the dread day that calls thee hence 
Through a red mist of fear should 

loom, 
(Closing in deadliest night and glooni 
Long hours of aching, dumb suspense,) 
And leave me to my lonely doom, — 

I think, beloved, I could see 

In thy dear eyes the loving light 
Glaze into vacancy and night, 

And still say, " God is good to me, 
And all that He decrees is right." 

That, watching thy slow struggling breathy 
And answering each imperfect sign, 
I still could pray thy prayer and mine, 

Ajid tell thee, dear, though this was death, 
That God was love, and love divine. 

Could hold thee in my arms, and lay 
Upon my heart thy weary head, 
And meet thy last smile ere it fled ; 

Then hear, as in a dream, one say, 
"Now all is over, — she is dead." 



Could smooth thy garments with fond care, 
And cross thy hands upon thy breast, 
And kiss thine eyelids down to rest, 

And yet say no word of despair, 

But, through my sobbing, "It is best." 



15a LIFE IN DEATH 

Could stifle down the gnawing pain, 
And say, " We still divide our life, 
She has the rest, and I the strife, 

And mine the loss, and hers the gain : 
My ill with bliss for her is rife." 

Then turn, and the old duties take — 
* Alone now — yet witli earnest will 

Gathering sweet, sacred traces still 
To help me on, and, for thy sake, 

My heart and life and soul to fill. 

I think I could check vain, weak tears, 

And toil, — although the world's great space 
Held nothing but one vacant place, 

And see the dark and weary years 
Lit only by a vanished grace. 

And sometimes, when the day was o'er, 

Call up the tender past again : 

Its painful joy, its happy pain, 
And live it over yet once more, 

And say, " But few more years remain." 

And then, when I had striven my best, 
And all around would smiling say, 
" See how Time makes all grief decay,* 

Would lie down thankfully to rest, 
And seek thee in eternal day. 

ii. 
But if the day should ever rise — 
It could not and it cannot be — 
Yet, if the sun should ever see, 









AND DEATH IN LIFE. i 53 

Looking upon us from his skies, 

A day that took thy heart from me ; 

If loving" thee still more and more, 
And still so willing to be blind, 
I should the bitter knowledge find, 

That Time had eaten out the core 
Of love, and left the empty rind , 

If the poor lifeless words, at last, 

(The soul gone, that was once so sweet,) 
Should cease my eager heart to cheat, 

And crumble back into the past, 
And show the whole a vain deceit ; 

If I should see thee turn away, 

And know that prayer, and time, and pain, 
Could no more thy lost love regain, 

Than bid the hours of dying day 
Gleam in their mid-day noon again ; 

If I should loose thy hand, and know 
That henceforth we must dwell apart, 
Since I had seen thy love depart, 

And only count the hours flow 

By the dull throbbing of my heart ; 

If I should gaze and gaze in vain 

Into thine eyes so deep and clear, 

And read the truth of all my fear 
Half mixed with pity for my pain, 

And sorrow for the vanished year ; 

If, not to grieve thee overmuch, 
I strove to counterfeit disdain, 
Ai*d weave me a new life again, 



/* 



» f 4 RECOLLECTIONS. 

WTiich thy life could not mar, or touch, 
And so smile down my bitter pain; — 

The ghost of my dead Past would rise 
And mock me, and I could not dare 
Look to a future of despair, 

Or even to the eternal skies, 
For I should still be lonely there. 

All Truth, all Honor, then would seem 
Vain clouds, which the first wind blew by ; 
All Trust, a folly doomed to die ; 

All Life, a useless, empty dream ; 

All Love — since thine had failed — a lie. 

But see, thy tender smile has cast 
My fear away : this thought of mine 
Is treason to my Love and thine ; 

For Love is Life, and Death at last 
Crowns it eternal and divine I 



RECOLLECTIONS. 

jfcjS strangers, you and I are here; 
SC^^y&M ^" e Dot n as aliens stand 

Where once, in years gone by, I dwelt 
Xo stranger in the land. 
Then* while you gaze on park and stream, 

Let me remain apart, 
And listen to the awakened sound 
Of voices in my heart. 







RECOLLECTIONS. 155 

Elere, where upon the velvet lawn 

The cedar spreads its shade, 
And by the flower-beds all around 

Bright roses bloom and fade, 
Bhrill merry childish laughter rings, 

And baby voices sweet, 
And by me, on the path, I hear 

The tread of little feet. 

Down the dark avenue of limes, 

Whose perfume loads the air, 
Whose boughs are rustling overhead, 

(For the west wind is there,) 
t hear the sound of earnest talk, 

Warnings and counsels wise, 
And the quick questioning that brought 

Such gentle, calm replies. 

Still the light bridge hangs o'er the lake, 

Where broad-leaved lilies lie, 
And the cool water shows again 

The cloud that moves on high ; — 
And one voice speaks, in tones I thought 

The past forever kept ; 
But now I know, deep in my heart 

Its echoes only slept. 

I hear, within the shady porch, 

Once more, the measured sound 
Of the old ballads that were read, 

While we sat listening round ; 
The starry passion-flower still 

Up the green trellis climbs; 
The tendrils waving seem to keep 

The cadence of the rhymes. 



lit ILLUSION. 

I might have striven, and striven in vain, 

Such visions to recall, 
Well known and yet forgotten ; now 

I see, I hear, them all ! 
The Present pales before the Past, 

Who comes with angel wings ; 
As in a dream I stand, amidst 

Strange yet familiar tlnngs ! 

Enough ; so let us go, mine eyes 

Are blinded by their tears ; 
A. voice speaks to my soul to-day 

Of long-forgotten years. 
And yet the vision in my heart, 

In a few hours more, 
Will fade into the silent past, 

Silently as before. 



ILLUSION. 




HERE the golden corn is bending, 
And the singing reapers pass, 
Where the chestnut woods are sending 
Leafy showers upon the grass, 

The blue river onward flowing 

Mingles with its noisy strife, 
The murmur of the flowers growing, 

And the hum of insect life. 

I from that rich plain was gazing 
Towards the snowy mountains high, 



/#* 



ILLUSION. 1 57 

Who their gleaming peaks were raising 
Up against the purple sky. 

And the glory of their shining, 

Bathed in clouds of rosy light, 
Set my weary spirit pining 

For a home so pure and bright ! 

So I left the plain, and weary, 
Fainting, yet with hope sustained, 

Toiled through pathways long and dreary 
Till the mountain-top was gained. 

Lo ! the height that I had taken, 

As so sinning from below, 
Was a desolate, forsaken 

Region of perpetual snow. 

I am faint, my feet are bleeding, 

All my feeble strength is worn, 
In the plain no soul is heeding, 

I am here alone, forlorn. 

Lights are shining, bells are tolling, 

In the busy vale below ; 
Near me night's black clouds are rolling, 

Gathering o'er a waste of snow. 

So I watch the river winding 
Through the misty fading plain, 

Bitter are the tear-drops blinding, 
Bitter useless toil and pain, — 

Bitterest of all the finding 

That my dream was false and vain ! 




158 A VISION-. 

A VISION. 

BLOOMY and black are the cypress-trees, 
Drearily waileth the chill night breeze. 
The long grass waveth, the tombs are 
white, 

And the black clouds flit o'er the chill moonlight. 
Silent is all save the dropping rain, 
When slowly there cometh a mourning t*ain j 
The lone churchyard is dark and dim, 
And the mourners raise a funeral hymn, 

" Open, dark grave, and take her 
Though we have loved her so, 
Yet we must now forsake her, 
Love will no more awake her : 

(O bitter woe !) 
Open thine arms and take her 
To rest below ! 

" Vain is our mournful weeping, 

Her gentle life is o'er ; 
Only the worm is creeping, 
Where she will soon be sleeping 

Forevcrmore : 
Nor joy nor love is keeping 

For her in store ! " 

Gloomy and black are the cypress-trees, 
And drearily wave in the chill night breeze 
The dark clouds part and the heavens are blue. 
Where the trembling stars are shining through. 



A VIS 1 OK. 

Slowly across the gleaming sky, 

A crowd of white angels are passing by. 

Like a fleet of swans they float along, 

Or the silver notes of a dying song. 

Like a cloud of incense their pinions rise, 

Fading away up the purple skies. 

But hush ! for the silent glory is stirred, 

By a strain such as earth lias never heard: 

" Open, Heaven ! we bear her, 

This gentle maiden mild, 
Earth's griefs we gladly spare her, 
From eanhly joys we tear her, 

Still undented ; 
And to thine arms we bear her, 

Thine own, thy child. 

" Open, O Heav^* I no morrow 

Will see this joy i %, ercast, 
No pain, no tears, no sorrow, 
Her gentle heart will borrow ; 

Sad life is past ; 
Shielded and safe from ^rrow, 

At home at last." 

But the vision faded and all "vs ~*s still, 
On the purple valley and distant hill. 
No sound was there save the wailing breeze^ 
The rain, and the rastling cypress-trees. 



*59 



i6o PICTURES IN THE FIRE. 



PICTURES IN THE FIRE. 




HAT is it you ask me, darling ? 
All my stories, child, you know ; 
I have no strange dreams to tell ysu, 
Pictures I have none to show. 



Tell you glorious scenes of travel ? 

Nay, my child, that cannot be, 
I have seen no foreign countries, 

Marvels none on land or sea. 

Yet strange sights in truth I witness, 

And I gaze until I tire ; 
Wondrous pictures, changing ever, 

As I look into the fire. 

There, last night, I saw a cavern, 
Black as pitch ; within it lay, 

Coiled in many folds, a dragon, 
Glaring as if turned at bay. 

And a knight in dismal armor 

On a winged eagle came, 
To do battle with this dragon ; 

And his crest was all of flame. 

As I gazed the dragon faded, 
And, instead, sat Pluto crowned 

By a lake of burning fire ; 

Spirits dark were crouching round. 




PICTURES IN THE FIRE. ,61 

That was gone, and lo ! before me, 

A cathedral vast and grim ; 
I could almost hear the organ 

Peal along the arches dim. 

As I watched the wreathed pillars, 

Groves of stately palms arose, 
And a group of swarthy Indians 

Stealing on some sleeping foes. 

Stay : a cataract glancing brightly 
Dashed and sparkled ; and beside 

Lay a broken marble monster. 

Mouth and eyes were staring wide. 

Then I saw a maiden wreathing 
Starry flowers in garlands sweet ; 

Did she see the fiery serpent 
That was wrapped about her feet ? 

That fell crashing all and vanished ; 

And I saw two armies close, — 
I could almost hear the clarions, 

And the shouting of the foes. 

They were gone ; and lo ! bright angeli* 

On a barren mountain wild, 
Raised appealing arms to Heaven, 

Bearing up a little child. 

And I gazed, and gazed, and slowly 
Gathered in my eyes sad tears, 

And the fiery pictures bore me 

Back through distant dreams of years. 
ii 




% 

1 62 THE SETTLERS. 

Once again I tasted sorrow, 

With past joy was once more gay, 

Till the shade had gathered round me- 
And the fire had died away. 



THE SETTLERS. 

j WO stranger youths in the Far West, 
Beneath the ancient forest trees, 
Pausing, amid their toil to rest, 

Spake of their home beyond the seas ; 
Spake of the hearts that beat so warmly, 

Of the hearts they loved so well, 
In their chilly Northern country. 

" Would," they cried, " some voice could tell 
Where they are, our own beloved ones ! " 

They looked up to the evening sky 
Half hidden by the giant branches, 
But heard no angel-voice reply. 
All silent was the quiet evening ; 
Silent were the ancient trees ; 
They only heard the murmuring song 
Of the summer breeze, 
That gently played among 
The acacia-trees. 

And did no warning spirit answer, 

Amid the silence all around : 
" Before the lowly village altar 

She thou lovest may be found, 



THE SETTLERS. 16; 

Thou, who trustest still so blindly, 

Know she stands a smiling bride ! 
Forgetting thee, she turncth kindly 

To the stranger at her side. 
Yes, this day thou art forgotten, 

Forgotten, too, thy last farewell, 
All the vows that she has spoken, 

And thy heart has kept so well. 
Dream no more of a starry future, 

In thy home beyond the seas ! " 
But he only heard the gentle sigh 
Of the summer breeze, 

So softly passing by 
The acacia-trees. 

And vainly, too, the other, looking 

Smiling up through hopeful tears, 
Asked in his heart of hearts, " Where is sh% 

She I love these many years ? n 
He heard no echo calling faintly : 

" Lo, she lieth cold and pale, 
And her smile so calm and saintly 

Heeds not grieving sob or wail, — 
Heeds not the lilies strewn upon her, 

Pure as she is, and as white, 
Or the solemn chanting voices, 

Or the taper's ghastly light." 
But silent still was the ancient forest, 

Silent were the gloomy trees ; 
He only heard the wailing sound 
Of the summer breeze, 

That sadly played around 
The acacia-trees ! 




1 64 HUSH! 

HUSH! 

CAN scarcely hear," she murmured, 
" For my heart beats loud and fast, 
But surely, in the far, far distance, 
I can hear a sound at last." 
" It is only the reapers singing, 

As they carry home their sheaves ; 
And the evening breeze has risen, 
And rustles the dying leaves." 

w Listen ! there are voices talking." 
Calmly still she strove to speak, 
Yet her voice grew faint and trembling, 
And the red flushed in her cheek. 
" It is only the children playing 

Below, now their work is done, 
And they laugh that their eyes are dazzled 
By the rays of the setting sun." 

tainter grew her voice, and weaker, 

As with anxious eyes she cried, 
" Down the avenue of chestnuts, 
I can hear a horseman ride." 

" It was only the deer that were feeding 

In a herd on the clover-grass, 
They were startled, and fled to the thicket, 
As they saw the reapers pass." 

Now the night arose in silence, 

Birds lay in their leafy nest, 
And the deer couched in the forest, 

And the children were at rest : 




HOURS. 165 

There was only a sound of weeping 

From watchers around a bed, 
But Rest to the weary spirit, 

Peace to the quiet Dead ! 



HOURS. 

HEN the bright stars came out last nighty 
And the dew lay on the flowers, 
I had a vision of delight, — 
A dream of bygone hours. 

Those hours that came and fled so fast, 

Of pleasure or of pain, 
As phantoms rose from out the past 

Before my eyes again. 

"With beating heart did I behold 

A train of joyous hours, 
Lit with the radiant light of old, 

And, smiling, crowned with flowers. 

And some were hours of childish sorrow, 

A mimicry of pain, 
That through their tears looked for a morrow 

They knew must smile again. 

Those hours of hope that longed for lik, 

And wished their part begun, 
And ere the summons to the strife 

Dreamed that the field was won. 



166 HOURS. 

t knew the echo of their voice, 
The starry crowns they wore ; 

The vision made my soul rejoice 
With the old thrill of yore. 

I knew the perfume of their flowers ; 

The glorious shining rays 
Around these happy, smiling hours 

Were lit in bygone days. 

O stay, I cried, — bright visions, stay, 
And leave me not forlorn ! 

But, smiling still, they passed away, 
Like shadows of the morn. 

One spirit still remained, and cried, 
" Thy soul shall ne'er forget ! n 

He standeth ever by my side, — 
The phantom called Regret ! 

But still the spirits rose, and there 
Were weary hours of pain, 

And anxious hours of fear and care 
Bound by an iron chain. 

Dim shadows came of lonely hours, 
That shunned the light of day, 

And in the opening smile of flowers 
Saw only quick decay. 

Calm hours that sought the starry skies 
For heavenly lore were there ; 

With folded hands and earnest eyes, 
I knew the hours of prayer. 



THE TWO INTERPRETERS. 167 

Stern hours that darkened the sun's light, 

Heralds of coming woes, 
With trailing wings, before my sight 

From the dim past arose. 

As each dark vision passed and spoke 

I prayed it to depart : 
At each some buried sorrow woke 

And stirred within my heart, — 

Until these hours of pain and care 

Lifted their tearful eyes, 
Spread their dark pinions in the air. 

Arid passed into the skies. 



THE TWO INTERPRETERS. 




HE clouds are fleeting by, father ; 

Look, in the shining west, 
The great white clouds sail onward 
Upon the sky's blue breast. 
Look at a snowy eagle, 

His wings are tinged with red, 
And a giant dolphin follows him, 
With a crown upon his head ! " 

The father spake no word, but watched 

The drifting clouds roll by ; 
He traced a misty vision too 

Upon the shining sky : 



i68 THE TWO INTERPRETERS. 

A shadowy form, with well-known grace 

Of weary love and care, 
Above the smiling child she held, 

Shook down her floating hair. 

" The clouds are changing now, father, 

Mountains rise higher and higher ! 
And see where red and purple ships 

Sail in a sea of fire ! " 
The father pressed the little hand 

More closely in his own, 
And watched a cloud-dream in the sky 

That he could see alone : 
Bright angels carrying far away 

A white form, cold and dead, 
Two held the feet, and two bore up 

The flower-crowned, drooping head* 

" See, father, see ! a glory floods 

The sky, and all is bright, 
And clouds of every hue and shade 

Burn in the golden light. 
And now, above an azure lake, 

Rise battlements and towers, 
Where knights and ladies climb the hsN&*&> 

All bearing purple flowers." 

The father looked, and, with a pang 

Of love and strange alarm, 
Drew close the little eager child 

Within his sheltering arm ; 
From out the clouds the mother looks 

With wistful glance below, 
She seems to seek the treasure left; 

On earth so long ago ; 



COMFORT. 169 

She holds her arms out to her child, 

His cradle-song she sings : 
The last rays of the sunset gleam 

Upon her outspread wings. 

Calm twilight veils the summer sky, 

The shining clouds are gone ; 
In vain the merry laughing child 

Still gayly prattles on ; 
In vain the bright stars, one by one, 

On the blue silence start, 
A dreary shadow rests to-night 

Upon the father's heart. 



COMFORT. 

•1AST thou o'er the clear heaven of thy 
soul 
Seen tempests roll q 
Hast thou watched all the hopes thou 
wouldst have won 
Fade, one by one ? 
Wait till the clouds are past, then raise thine eyea 
To bluer skies. 

Hast thou gone sadly through a dreary night, 

And found no light, 
No guide, no star, to cheer thee through the plain, 

£so friend, save pain ? 
Wait, and thy soul shall see, when most forlorn, 

Rise a new morn. 




i 7 o COMFORT. 

Hast thou beneath another's stern control 

Bent thy sad soul, 
And wasted sacred hopes and precious tears ? 

Yet calm, thy fears, 
For thou canst gain, even from the bitterest part, 

A stronger heart. 

Has Fate o'erwhelmed thee with some sudden blow ? 

Let thy tears flow ; 
But know when storms are past, the heavens appear 

More pure, more clear ; 
And hope, when farthest from their shining rays, 

For brighter days. 

Hast thou found life a cheat, and worn in vain 

Its iron chain ? 
Has thy soul bent beneath earth's heavy bond? 

Look thou beyond ; 
If life is bitter — there forever shine 

Hopes more divine. 

Art thou alone, and does thy soul complain 

It lives in vain ? 
Not vainly does he live who can endure. 

O be thou sure, 
That he who hopes and suffers here, can earn 

A sure return. 

Hast thou found naught within thy troubled life 

Save inward strife % 
Hast thou found all she promised thee, Deceit, 

And Hope a cheat ? 
Endure, and there shall dawn within thy breast 

Eternal rest ! 




HOME AT LAST. i 7 i 



HOME AT LAST. 

|]HILD, do not fear ; 

We shall reach our home to-night, 
For the sky is clear, 
And the waters bright ; 
And the breezes have scarcely strength 
To unfold that little cloud, 
That like a shroud 
Spreads out its fleecy length ; 

Then have no fear, 
As we cleave our silver way 

Through the waters clear. 

Fear not, my child ! 
Though the waves are white and high, 
And the storm blows wild 

Through the gloomy sky ; 
On the edge of the western sea, 
See that line of golden light, 

Is the haven bright 
Where home is awaiting thee ; 

Where, this peril past, 
We shall rest from our stormy voyage 

In peace at last. 

Be not afraid ; 
But give me thy hand, and see 
How the waves have made 
A cradle for thee. 
Night is come, dear, and we shall reat ; 
So turn from the angry skies, 
And close thine eyes, 



17* UNEXPRESSED. 

And lay thy head on my breast : 
Child, do not weep ; 

In the calm, cold, purple depths 
There we shall sleep. 



UNEXPRESSED. 




WELLS within the soul of every Artist 
More than all his effort can express ; 
And he knows the best remains un- 
uttered ; 
Sighing at what we call his success. 

Vainly he may strive ; he dare not tell us 
All the sacred mysteries of the skies : 
Vainly he may strive, the deepest beauty 
Cannot be unveiled to mortal eyes. 

And the more devoutly that he listens, 
And the holier message that is sent, 
Still the more his soul must struggle vainly, 
Bowed beneath a noble discontent. 



No great Thinker ever lived and taught you 
All the wonder that his soul received ; 
No true Painter ever set on canvas 
All the glorious vision he conceived. 

No Musician ever held your spirit 
Charmed and bound in his melodious chains, 
But be sure he heard, and strove to render, 
Feeble echoes of celestial strains. 



BECAUSE. 1 73 

No real Poet ever wove in numbers 
All his dream ; but the diviner part, 
Hidden from all the world, spake to him only 
In the voiceless silence of his heart. 

So with Love : for Love and Art united 
Are twin mysteries ; different, yet the same : 
Poor indeed would be the love of any 
Who could find its full and perfect name. 

Love may strive, but vain is the endeavor 
All its boundless riches to unfold ; 
Still its tenderest, truest secret lingers 
Ever in its deepest depths untold. 

Things of Time have voices : speak and perish. 
Art and Love speak ; but their words must be 
Like sighings of illimitable forests, 
And waves of an unfathomable sea. 



BECAUSE. 

]T is not because your heart is mine — - 
mine only — 
Mine alone ; 
It is not because you chose me, weak 
and lonely, 
Eor your own ; 
Not because the earth is fairer, and the skies 

Spread above you 
Are more radiant for the shining of your eyes — * 
That I love you ! 




174 



BECAUSE. 



It is not because the world's perplexed meaning 

Grows more clear ; 
And the Parapets of Heaven, with angels leaning, 

Seem more near ; 
And Nature sings of praise with all her voices 

Since yours spoke, 
Since within my silent heart, that now rejoices, 

Love awoke ! 

Nay, not even because your hand holds heart and 
life; 

At your will 
Soothing, hushing all its discord, making strife 

Calm and still; 
Teaching Trust to fold her wings, nor ever roam 

From her nest ; 
Teaching Love that her securest, safest home 

Must be Rest. 

But because this human Love, though true and 
sweet — 

Yours and mine — 
Has been sent by Love more tender, more complete. 

More divine ; 
That it leads our hearts to rest at last in Heaven, 

Far above you ; 
Do I take you as a gift that G^d has given -— 

— And I love jou\ 



REST AT EVENING. 



REST AT EVENING. 



'75 




[|HEN the weariness of Life is ended, 
And the task of our long day is done, 
And the props, on which our hearts 
depended, 

All have failed or broken, one by one ; 
Evening and our Sorrow's shadow blended, 
Telling us that peace is now begun. 

How far back will seem the sun's first dawning, 

And those early mists so cold and gray ! 

Half forgotten even the toil of morning, 

And the heat and burthen of the day : 

Flowers that we were tending, and weeds scorning, 

All alike withered and cast away. 

Vain will seem the impatient heart, which waited 

Toils that gathered but too quickly round ; 

And the childish joy, so soon elated 

At the path we thought none else had found ; 

And the foolish ardor, soon abated 

By the storm which cast us to the ground. 

Vain those pauses on the road, ea-m seeming 

As our final home and resting-plaoe ; 

And the leaving them, while tears, were streaming 

Of eternal sorrow down our face ; 

And the hands we held, fond folly dreaming 

That no future could their touch fc5a.ee. 

All will then be faded : — night will borrow 
Stars of light to crown our perfect rest ; 




176 A RETROSPECT. 

And the dim vague memory of faint sorrow 
Just remain to show us all was best, 
Then melt into a divine to-morrow : — 
O how poor a day to be so blest ! 



A RETROSPECT. 

HROM this fair point of present bliss, 
Where we together stand, 
Let me look back once more, and trac« 
That long and desert land, 
Wherein till now was east my lot, and I could live, 
and thou wert not. 

Strange that my heart could beat, and know 

Alternate joy and pain, 
That suns could roll from east to west, 
And clouds could pass in rain, 
And the slow hours without thee fleet, nor stay 
their noiseless silver feet. 

What had I then ? a Hope, that grew 

Each hour more bright and dear, 
The flush upon the eastern skies 
That showed the sun was near : — 
Now night has faded far away, my sun has risen, 
and it is day. 

A dim Ideal of tender grace 
In my soul reigned supreme ; 



A RETROSPECT. I?7 

Too noble and too sweet I thought 
To live, save in a dream ; — 
\Vithin thy heart to-day it lies, and looks on me 
from thy dear eyes. 

Some gentle spirit — Love I thought — 

Built many a shrine of pain ; 
Though each false Idol fell to dust, 
The worship was not vain, 
But a faint, radiant shadow cast hack from on* 
Love upon the Past. 

And Grief, too, held her vigil there ; 

With unrelenting sway 
Breaking my cloudy visions down, 
Throwing my flowers away : — 
I owe to her fond care alone that I may now be all 
thine own, 

Fair Joy was there, — her fluttering wings 

At times she strove to raise ; 
Watching through long and patient nights, 
Listening long eager days : 
I know now that her heart and mine were waiting, 
Love, to welcome thine. 

Thus I can read thy name throughout, 

And, now her task is done, 
Can see that even that faded Past 
Was thine, beloved one, 
And so rejoice my Life may be all consecrated, 
dear, to thee. 



12 



LEGENDS AND LYRICS. 

A BOOK OF VERSE?, 
SECOND SERIES. 



A LEGEXD OF PROVENCE. 




HE lights extinguished ; by the hearth 
I leant, 

Half weary with a listless discontent. 

The nickering giant-shadows, gathering 
near, 
Closed round me with a dim and silent fear. 
All dull, all dark ; save when the leaping flame, 
Glancing, lit up a Picture's ancient frame. 
Above the hearth it hung. Perhaps the night, 
My foolish tremors, or the gleaming light, 
Lent power to that Portrait dark and quaint — 
A Portrait such as Rembrandt loved to paint — 
The likeness of a Xun. I seemed to trace 
A world of sorrow in the patient face, 
In the thin hands folded across her breast : 
Its own and the room's shadow hid the rest. 
I gazed and dreamed, and the dull embers stirred, 
Till an old legend that I once had heard 
Came back to me ; linked to the mystic gloom 
Of that dark Picture in the ghostly room. 

In the far south, where clustering vines are hung ; 
Where first the old chivalric lays were sung ; 



182 A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 

Wliere earliest smiled that gracious ehild of France, 
Angel and knight and fairy, called Romance, 
t stood one day. The warm blue June was spread 
Upon the earth ; blue summer overhead, 
Without a cloud to fleck its radiant glare, 
Without a breath to stir its sultry air. 
AH still, all silent, save the sobbing rush 
Of rippling waves, that lapsed in silver hush 
Upon the beach ; where, glittering towards the strand, 
The purple Mediterranean kissed the land. 

AH still, all peaceful; when a convent chime 
Broke on the mid-day silence for a time, 
Then trembling into quiet, seemed to cease, 
In deeper silence and more utter peace. 
So as I turned to gaze, where gleaming white, 
Half hid by shadowy trees from passers' sight, 
The Convent lay, one who had dwelt for long 
In that fair home of ancient tale and song, 
Who knew the story of each cave and hill, 
And every haunting fancy lingering still 
Within the land, spake thus to me, and told 
The Convent's treasured Legend, quaint and old : — « 

Long years ago, a dense and flowering wood, 
Still more concealed where the white convent stood, 
Borne on its perfumed wings the title came : 
" Our Lady of the Hawthorns " is its name. 
Then did that bell, which still rings out to-day, 
Bid all the country rise, or eat, or pray. 
Before that convent shrine, the haughty knight 
Passed the lone vigil of his perilous fight ; 
For humbler cottage strife or village brawl, 
The Abbess listened, prayed, and settled all. 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 183 

Young hearts tliat came, weighed down by love or 

wrong, 
Left her kind presence comforted and strong. 
Each passing pilgrim, and each beggar's right 
Wias food, and rest, and shelter for the night. 
But, more than this, the nuns could well impart 
The deepest mysteries of the healing art; 
Their store of herbs and simples was renowned, 
And held in wondering faith for miles around. 
Thus strife, love, sorrow, good and evil fate, 
Found help and blessing at the convent gate. 

Of all the nuns, no heart was half so light, 

No eyelids veiling glanecs half as bright, 

No step that glided with such noiseless feet, 

No face that looked so tender or so sweet, 

No voice that rose in choir so pure, so clear, 

No heart to all the others half so dear, 

So surely touched by others' pain or woe, 

(Guessing the grief her youug life could not know,| 

No soul in childlike faith so underlled, 

As Sister Angela's, the " Convent Child." 

For thus they loved to call her. She had known 

No home, no love, no kindred, save their own. 

An orphan, to their tender nursing given, 

Child, plaything, pupil, now the Bride of Heaven, 

And she it was who trimmed the lamp's red light 

That swung before the altar, day and night ; 

Her hands it was, whose patient skill could trac* 

The finest broidery, weave the costliest lace ; 

But most of all, her first and dearest care, 

The office she would never miss or share, 

Was every day to weave fresh garlands sweet, 

T Q place before the shrine at Mary's feet. 



1 84 A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 

Nature is bounteous in that region feir, 

For even Winter has her blossoms there. 

Thus Angela loved to count each feast the best, 

By telling- with what flowers the shrine was dressed 

In pomp supreme the countless Roses passed, 

Battalion on battalion thronging fast, 

Each with a different banner, flaming bright, 

Damask, or striped, or crimson, pink, or wlnte, 

Until they bowed before, a new-born queen, 

And the pure virgin Lily rose serene. 

Though Angela always thought the Mother blest 

Must love the time of her own hawthorns best, 

Each evening through the year, with equal care, 

She placed her flowers ; then kneeling down in 

prayer, 
As their faint perfume rose before the shrine, 
So rose her thoughts, as pure and as divine. 
She knelt until the shades grew dim without, 
Till one by one the altar lights shone out, 
Till one by one the Xuns, like shadows dim, 
Gathered around to chant their vesper hymn ; 
Her voice then led the music's winged flight, 
And "Ave, Maris Stella" filled the night. 

But wherefore linger on those days of peace ? 
When storms draw near, then quiet hours must cease. 
"War, cruel war, defaced the land, and came 
So near the convent with its breath of flame, 
That, seeking shelter, frightened peasants fled, 
Sobbing out tales of coming fear and dread. 
Till after a fierce skirmish, down the road, 
One night came straggling soldiers, with their load 
Of wounded, dying comrades; and the band, 
Half pleading, yet as if they could command, 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 1S5 

Summoned the trembling Sisters, craved their care, 

Then rode away, and left the wounded there. 

But soon compassion bade all fear depart, 

And bidding every Sister do her part, 

Some prepare simples, healing salves, or bands, 

The Abbess chose the more experienced hands 

To dress the wounds needing most skilful care ; 

Yet even the youngest Novice took her share. 

To Angela, who had but ready will 

And tender pity, yet no special skill, 

Was given the charge of a young foreign knight, 

Whose wounds were painful, but whose danger slight 

Day after day she watched beside his bed, 

And iirst in hushed repose the hours fled : 

His feverish moans alone the silence stirred, 

Or her soft voice, uttering some pious word. 

At last the fever left him ; day by day 

The hours, no longer silent, passed away. 

What could she speak of? First, to still his plaints. 

She told him legends of the martyred Saints ; 

Described the pangs, which, tlirough God's plea 

teous grace, 
Had gained their souls so high and bright a place. 
This pious artifice soon found success — 
Or so she fancied — for he murmured less. 
So she described the glorious pomp sublime 
In which the chapel shone at Easier time, 
The banners, vestments, gold, and colors bright, 
Counted how many tapers gave their light; 
Then in minute detail went on to say, 
How the High Altar looked on Christmas-day: 
The kings and shepherds, all in green and red, 
And a bright star of jewels overhead. 
Then told the sign by winch they all had seen 



i86 A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 

How even nature loved to greet her Queen, 
For, when Our Lady's last procession went 
Down the long garden, every head was bent, 
And, rosary in hand, each Sister prayed ; 
As the long floating banners were displayed, 
They struck the hawthorn boughs, and showers an \ 

showers 
Of buds and blossoms strewed her way with flowers. 
The knight unwearied listened ; till at last, 
IIj too described the glories of his past ; 
Tourney, and joust, and pageant bright and fair, 
And all the lovely ladies who were there. 
But half incredulous she heard. Could this — 
This be the world 1 this place of love and bliss ! 
Where then was hid the strange and hideous charm, 
That never failed to bring the gazer harm ? 
She crossed herself, yet asked, and listened still, 
And still the knight described with all his skill 
The glorious world of joy, all joys above, 
Transfigured in the golden mist of love. 
Spread, spread your wings, ye angel guardians 

bright, 
And shield these dazzling phantoms from her sight ! 
But no ; days passed, matins and vespers rang, 
And still the quiet nuns toiled, prayed, and sang, 
And never guessed the fatal, coiling net 
Which every day drew near, and nearer yet, 
Around their darling ; for she went and came 
About her duties, outwardly the same. 
The same 1 ah, no ! even when she knelt to pray, 
Some charmed dream kept all her heart away. 
So days went on, until the convent gate 
Opened one night. "Who durst go forth so late ? 
Across the moonlit grass, with stealthy tread, 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 187 

Two silent, shrouded figures passed and fled. 
And all was silent, save the moaning seas, 
That sobbed and pleaded, and a wailing breeze 
That sighed among the perfumed hawthorn-trees. 

What need to tell that dream so bright and brief, 

Of joy uncheckered by a dread of grief? 

What need to tell how all such dreams must fade, 

Before the slow, foreboding, dreaded shade, 

That floated nearer, until pomp and pride, 

Pleasure and wealth, were summoned to her side, 

To bid, at least, the noisy hours forget, 

And clamor down the whispers of regret. 

Still Angela strove to dream, and strove in vain; 

Awakened once, she could not sleep again. 

She saw, each day and hour, more worthless grown 

The heart for which she cast away her own ; 

And her soul learnt, through bitterest inward strife, 

The slight, frail love for which she wrecked her life, 

The phantom for which all her hope was given, 

The cold bleak earth for which she bartered heaven ! 

But all in vain ; would even the tenderest heart 

Now stoop to take so poor an outcast's part ? 

Years fled, and she grew reckless more and more, 
Until the humblest peasant closed his door, 
And where she passed, fair dames, in scorn and pride, 
Shuddered, and drew their rustling robes aside. 
At last a yearning seemed to fill her soul, 
A longing that was stronger than control : 
Once more, just once again, to see the place 
That knew her young and innocent ; to retrace 
The long and weary southern path ; to gaze 
Upon the haven of her childish days ; 



1 88 A LEGEND OF PROVEN CK 

Once mure beneatli the convent roof to lie ; 
Once more to look upon her home — and die! 
Weary and worn — her comrades, chill remorse 
And Mack despair, yet a strange silent force 
Within her heart, that drew her more and more — ■* 
Onward she crawled, and begged from door to door. 
Weighed down with weary days, her failing strength 
Grew less each hour, till one day's dawn at length, 
As first its rays flooded the world with light, 
Showed the broad waters, glittering blue and bright, 
And where, amid the leafy hawthorn wood, 
Just as of old the quiet cloister stood. 
Would any know her ? Nay, no fear. Her face 
Had lost all trace of youth, of joy, of grace, 
Of the pure, happy soul they used to know — 
The novice Angela — so long ago. 
She rang the convent bell. The well-known sound 
Smote on her heart, and bowed her to the ground. 
And she, who had not wept for long, dry years, 
Felt the strange rush of unaccustomed tears ; 
Terror and anguish seemed to check her breath, 
And stop her heart. O God ! could this be death ? 
Crouching against the iron gate, she laid 
Her weary head against the bars, and prayed : 
But nearer footsteps drew, then seemed to wait; 
And then she heard the opening of the grate, 
And saw the withered face, on which awoke 
Pity and sorrow, as the portress spoke, 
And asked the stranger's bidding : " Take u* in," 
She faltered, " Sister Monica, from sin, 
And sorrow, and despair, that will not cease , 
0, take me in, and let me die in peace ! " 
With soothing words the Sirter bwle her wait, 
Jntil she brought the key to unbar the gate. 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 189 

The beggar tried to thank her as she lay, 

And heard the echoing footsteps die away. 

But what soft voice was that which sounded near, 

And stirred strange trouble in her heart to hear % 

She raised her head ; she saw — she seemed to 

know — 
A face that came from long, long years ago : 
Herself; yet not as when she fled away, 
The young and blooming novice, fair and gay, 
But a grave woman, gentle and serene : 
The outcast knew it, — what she might have been. 
But, as she gazed and gazed, a radiance bright 
Filled all the place with strange and sudden light ; 
The nun was there no longer, but instead, 
A figure with a circle round its head, 
A ring of glory ; and a face, so meek, 
So soft, so tender. . . . Angela strove to speak, 
And stretched her hands out, crying, " Mary mild, 
Mother of mercy, help me ! — help your child ! " 
And Mary answered, " From thy bitter past, 
Welcome, my child ! O, welcome home at last ! 
I filled thy place. Thy flight is known to none, 
For all thy daily duties I have done ; 
Gathered thy flowers, and prayed, and sung, and 

slept ; 
Didst thou not know, poor child, thy place was kept f 
Kind hearts are here ; yet would the tenderest one 
Have limits to its mercy : God has none. 
And man's forgiveness may be true and sweet, 
But yet he stoops to give it. More complete 
Is Love that lays forgiveness at thy feet, 
And pleads with thee to raise it. Only Heaven 
Means crowned, not vanquished, when it says, ' For 

given ! ' " 



190 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. 



Back hurried Sister Monica ; but where 
Was the poor beggar she left lying there 1 
Gone ; and she searched in vain, and sought the place 
For that wan woman, with the piteous face : 
But only Angela at the gateway stood, 
Laden with hawthorn blossoms from the wood. 
And never did a day pass by again, 
But the old portress, with a sigh of pain, 
Would sorrow for her loitering : with a prayer 
That the poor beggar, in her wild despair, 
Might not have come to any ill ; and when 
She ended, " God forgive her ! " humbly then 
Did Angela bow her head, and say, " Amen ! " 
How pitiful her heart was ! all could trace 
Something that dimmed the brightness of her face 
After that day, which none had seen before ; 
Not trouble — but a shadow — nothing more. 

Years passed away. Then, one dark day of dread 
Saw all the Sisters kneeling round a bed, 
Where Angela lay dying ; every breath 
Struggling beneath the heavy hand of death. 
But suddenly a flush lit up her cheek, 
She raised her wan right hand, and strove to speak. 
In sorrowing love they listened ; not a sound 
Or sigh disturbed the utter silence round. 
The very taper's flames were scarcely stirred, 
In such hushed awe the sisters knelt and heard. 
And through that silence Angela told her life : 
Her sin, her flight ; the sorrow and the strife, 
And the return ; and then clear, low, and calm, 
" Praise God for me, my sisters " ; and the psalm 
Rang up to heaven, far and clear and wide, 
Again, and yet again, then sank and died ; 



A LEGEND OF PROVENCE. i 9 , 

Wliilc her white face had such a smile of peace, 
They saw she never heard the music cease ; 
And weeping sisters laid her in her tomb, 
Crowned with a wreath of perfumed hawthorn bloom. 

And thus the Legend ended. It may be 
Something is hidden in the mystery, 
Besides the lesson of God's pardon shown, 
Never enough believed, or asked, or known. 
Hare we not all, amid life's petty strife, 
Some pure ideal of a noble life 
That once seemed possible % Did we not hear 
The flutter of its wings, and feel it near, 
And just within our reach ? It was. And yet 
"We lost it in this daily jar and fret, 
And now live idle in a vague regret. 
But still our plzc2 is kept, and it will wait, 
Ready for wz to fill it, soon or late : 
No star h ever lost we once have seen, 
"We always may be what we might have been. 
Since Good, though only thought, has life and breath, 
God's life — can always be redeemed from death ; 
And evil, in its nature, is decay, 
And any hour can blot it all away ; 
The hopes that lost in some far distance seem, 
May be che truer life, and this the dream. 



192 



ENVY. 



ENYY. 




E was the first always : Fortune 

Shone bright in his face. 

I fought for years ; with no effort 

He conquered the place : 

We ran ; my feet were all bleeding, 

But he won the race. 



Spite of his many successes, 
Men loved him the same ; 

My one pale ray of good fortune 
Met scoffing and blame. 

When we erred, they gave him pity. 
But me — only shame. 

My home was still in the shadow, 

His lay in the sun : 
I longed in vain : what he asked for 

It straightway was done. 
Once I staked all my heart's treasure. 

We played — and he won. 

Yes ; and just now I have seen him, 

Cold, smiling, and blest, 
Laid in his coffin. God help me ! 

While he is at rest, 
I am cursed still to live : — even 

Dea*U loved him the best. 



OVER THE MOUNTAIN. 



OVER THE MOUNTAIN. 



193 




IKE dreary prison walls 

The stern, gray mountains rise, 
Until their topmost era^s 
Touch the far gloomy skies : 
One steep and narrow path 

"Winds up the mountain's crest, 
And from our valley leads 
Out to the golden West. 

I dwell here in content, 

Thankful for tranquil days ; 
And yet my eyes grow dim, 

As still I gaze and gaze 
Upon that mountain pass, 

That leads — or so it seems — 
To some far happy land, 

Known in a world of dreams. 

And as I watch that path 

Over the distant hill, 
A foolish longing comes 

My heart and soul to fill, 
A painful, strange desire 

To break some weary bond; 
A vague unuttered wish 

For what might lie beyond ! 

In that far world unknown, 

Over that distant hill, 
May dwell the loved and lost, 

Lost — yet beloved still ; 
13 



1 9 4 BEYOND. 

I have a yearning hope, 

Half longing, and half pain, 

That by that mountain pass 
They may return again. 

Space may keep friends apart, 

Death has a mighty thrall ; 
There is another gulf 

Harder to cross than all ; 
Yet watching that far road, 

My heart beats full and fast: 
If they should come once more, 

If they should come at last ! 

See, down the mountain side 

The silver vapors creep ; 
They hide the rocky cliffs, 

They hide the craggy steep, 
They hide the narrow path 

That comes across the hill : — 
O foolish longing, cease, 

O beating Heart, be still ! 



BEYOND. 

j]E must not doubt, or fear / or drf »d, that 
love for life is only given, 
And that the calm and sainted dead will 
meet estranged and cold in heaven : — 
O, Love were poor and vain indeed, based on 60 
harsh and stern a creed. 







BEYOND. 1 95 

True that this earth must pass away, with all tho 
starry worlds of light, 

With all the glory of the day, and calmer tender- 
ness of night ; 

For in that radiant home can shine alone the 
immortal and divine. 

Earth's lower things — her pride, her fame, her 
science, learning, wealth, and power — 

Slow growths that through long ages came, or 
fruits of some convulsive hour, 

Whose very memory must decay — Heaven is too 
pure for such as they. 

They are complete : their work is done. So let 

them sleep in endless rest. 
Love's life is only here begun, nor is, nor can be, 

fully blest ; 
It has no room to spread its wings, amid this 

crowd of meaner things. 

Just for the very shadow thrown upon its sweet- 
ness here below, 

The cross that it must bear alone, and bloody 
baptism of woe, 

Crowned and completed through its pain, we know 
that it shall rise again. 

So if its flame burn pure and bright, here, where 

our air is dark and dense, 
And nothing in this world of night lives with a 

living so intense ; 
When it shall reach its home at length — how 

bright its light ! how strong its strength I 



196 



A WARNING. 



And while the vain weak loves of earth (for sucli 

base counterfeits abound) 
Shall perisli with what gave them birth — theil 

graves are green and fresh around, 
No funeral song shall need to rise for the true 

Love that never dies. 

If in ray heart I now could fear that, risen again, 

we should not know 
What was our Life of Life when here, — the hearts 

we loved so much below, — 
I would arise this very day, and cast so poor a 

thing away. 

But Love is no such soulless clod : living, perfected 

it shall rise 
Transfigured in the light of God, and giving glory 

to the skies : 
And that which makes this life so sweet 6hall 
* render Heaven's joy complete. 



A WARNING. 




LACE your hands in mine, dear, 
With their rose-leaf touch : 
If you heed my warning, 
It will spare you much. 



Ah ! with just such smiling 

Unbelieving eyes, 
Years ago I heard it : — 

You shall be more wise. 



A WARNING. 197 

You have one great treasure, 

Joy for all your life ; 
Do not let it perish 

Iu one reekless strife 

Do not venture all, child, 

In one frail, weak heart ; 
So, through any shipwreck, 

You may save a part. 

Where your soul is tempted 

Most to trust your fate, 
There, with double caution, 

Linger, fear, and wait. 

Measure all you give, still 

Counting what you take ; 
Love for love : so placing 

Each an equal stake. 

Treasure love ; though ready 

Still to live without. 
In your fondest trust, keep 

Just one thread of doubt. 

Build on no to-morrow; 

Love has but to-day : 
If the links seem slackening, 

Cut the bond away. 

Trust no prayer nor promise ; 

Words are grains of sand : 
To keep your heart unbroken, 

Hold it in vour hand. 



i 9 8 MAXIMUS. 

That your love may finish 

Calm as it begun, 
Learn this lesson better, 

Dear, than I have done. 

Years hence, perhaps, this warning 

You shall give again, 
In just the self-same words, dear, 

And — just as much — in vain. 



MAXIMUS. 

ANY, if God should make them kings, 
Might not disgrace the throne He gave; 
How few who could as well fulfil 
The holier office of a slave ! 



I hold him great who, for Love's sake, 
Can give, with generous, earnest will, — 

Yet he who takes for Love's sweet sake, 
I think I hold more generous still. 

I prize the instinct that can turn 

From vain pretence with proud disdain; 

Yet more I prize a simple heart 
Paying credulity with pain. 

I bow before the noble mind 

That freely some great wrong forgives; 
Yet nobler is the one forgiven, 

Who bears that burden well, and lives* 




OP TIM US. 1 99 

It may be hard to gain, and still 
To keep a lowly steadfast heart ; 

Yet he who loses has to fill 
A harder and a truer part. 

Glorious it is to wear the crown 
Of a deserved and pure success; — 

He who knows how to fail has won 
A Crown whose lustre is not less. 

Great may he be who can command 
And rule with just and tender sway ; 

Yet is diviner wisdom taught 
Better by him who can obey 

Blessed are those who die for God, 

And earn the Martyr's crown of light ; 

Yet he who lives for God may be 
A greater Conqueror in His sight. 



OPTIMUS. 

HERE is a deep and subtle snare 
Whose sure temptation hardly faila, 
Which, just because it looks so fair, 
Only a noble heart assails. 

So all the more we need be strong 
Against this false and seeming Right ; 
Which none the less is deadly wrong, 
Because it glitters clothed in light 




OP TIM US. 

When duties unfulfilled remain, 
Or noble works are left unplanned, 
Or when great deeds cry out in vain 
On coward heart and trembling hand, — 

Then will a seeming Angel speak : — 
" The hours are fleeting — great the need - 
If thou art strong and others weak, 
Thine be the effort and the deed. 

"Deaf are their ears who ought to hear; 
Idle their hands, and dull their soul; 
"While sloth, or ignorance, or fear, 
Fetters them with a blind control. 

" Sort thou the tangled web aright ; 
Take thou the toil, take thou the pain: 
For fear the hour begin its flight, 
While Right and Duty plead in vain.'* 

And now it is I bid thee pause, 
Nor let this Tempter bend thy will : 
There are diviner, truer laws 
That teach a nobler lesson still. 

Learn that each duty makes its claim 
Upon one soul : not each on all. 
How, if God speaks thy brother's name, 
Dare thou make answer to the call ? 

The greater peril in the strife, 
The less this evil should be done; 
For as in battle, so in life, 
Danger and honor still are one. 



A LOST CHORD. 201 

Aroase him then : — this is thy part : 
Show him the claim ; point out the need ; 
And nerve his arm, and cheer his heart ; 
Then stand aside, and say, " God speed 1 n 

Smooth thou his path ere it is trod ; 
Burnish the arms that he must wield ; 
And pray, with all thy strength, that God 
May crown him Victor of the field. 

And then, I think, thy soul shall feel 
A nobler thrill of true content, 
Than if presumptuous, eager zeal 
Had seized a crown for others meant. 

And even that very deed shall slnne 
In mystic sense, divine and true, 
More wholly and more purely thine — 
Because it is another's too. 



A LOST CHORD. 

EATED one day at the Organ, 
I was weary and ill at ease, 
And my fingers wandered idly 
Over the noisv kevs. 



I do not know what I was playing, 
Or what I was dreaming then; 

But I struck one chord of music, 
Like the sound of a jzreat Amen- 




TOO LATE. 

It flooded the crimson twilight, 

Like the close of an Angel's Psalm, 

And it lay on my fevered spirit 
With a touch of infinite calm. 

It quieted pain and sorrow, 
Like love overcoming strife ; 

It seemed the harmonious echo 
From our discordant life. 

It linked all perplexed meanings 

Into one perfect peace, 
And trembled away into silence 

As if it were loth to cease. 

I have sought, but I seek it vainly, 
That one lost chord divine, 

That came from the soul of the Organ, 
And entered into mine. 

It may be that Death's bright angel 
. Will speak in that chord again, 
It maj be that only in Heaven 
I shall hear that grand Amen 



TOO LATE. 




USH! speak low; tread softljj 

Draw the sheet aside ; — 

Yes, she does look peaceful ; 

Witli that smile she died. 



TOO LATE. 201 

STet stern want and sorrow 

Even now you trace 
On the wan, worn features 

Of the still white face. 

Restless, helpless, hopeless, 

Was her bitter part ; — 
Now — how still the Violet* 

Lie upon her Heart ! 

She who toiled and labored 

For her daily bread ; 
See the velvet hangings 

Of this stately bed. 

Yes, they did forgive her ; 

Brought her home at last; 
Strove to cover over 

Their relentless past. 

Ah, they would have given 
Wealth, and home, and pride, 

To see her just look happy 
Once before she died ! 

They strove hard to please her, 

But, when death is near, 
All you know is deadened, 

Hope, and joy, and fear. 

And besides, one sorrow 

Deeper still — one pain 
Was beyond them : healing 

Came to-day — in vain \ 



204 TOO LATE. 

If she had but lingered 
Just a few hours more ; 

Or had this letter reached hef 
Just one day before ! 

I can almost pity- 
Even him to-day ; 

Though he let this anguish 
Eat her heart away. 

Yet she never blamed him : — » 
One day you shall know 

How this sorrow Jiappened ; 
It was long ago. 

I have read the letter ; 

Many a weary year, 
For one word she hungered, ^ 

There are thousands here. 

If she could but hear it, 
Could but understand ; 

See, — I put the letter 
In her cold white hand. 

Even these words, so longed for, 
Do not stir her rest ; 

Well, I should not murmur, 
Eor God judges best. 

She needs no more pity, — 
But I mourn his fate, 

When he hears his letter 
Came a day too late. 




TEE REQUITAL. 205 



THE EEQUITAL. 

OUD roared the Tempest, 
Fast fell the sleet ; 
A little Child Angel 
Passed down the street, 
With trailing pinions, 
And weary feet. 

The moon was hidden ; 

Jso stars were bright ; 
So she could not shelter 

In heaven that night, 
For the Angels' ladders 

Are rays of light. 

She beat her wings 
At each window-pane, 

And pleaded for shelter, 
But all in vain : — 

" Listen," they said, 
" To the pelting rain ! " 

She sobbed, as the laughter 
And mirth grew higher, 

•• Give me rest and shelter 
Beside your fire, 

And I will give you 
Your heart's desire." 

The dreamer sat watching 
His embers gleam, 



*o6 THE REQUITAL. 

While his heart was floating 
Down hope's bright stream; 

... So he wove her wailing 
Into his dream. 



The worker toiled on, 
For his time was brief; 

The mourner was nursing 
Her own pale grief: 

They heard not the promise 
That brought relief 

But fiercer the Tempest 

Rose than before, 
When the Angel paused 

At a humble door, 
And asked for shelter 

And help once more. 

A weary woman, 

Pale, worn, and thin, 

With the brand upon her 
Of want and sin, 

Heard the Child Angel 
And took her in. 

Took her in gently, 

And did her best 
To dry her pinions ; 

And made her rest 
With tender pity 

Upon her breast. 

When the eastern morning 
Grew bright and red, 




RETURNED — " JflSSING.- 

Up the first sunbeam 

The Angel fled ; 
Having kissed the ^voman 

And left her — dead. 



RETURNED — « MISSING." 

(five years after.) 

'jES, I was sad and anxious, 
But now, dear, I am gay ; 
I know that it is wisest 
To put all hope away : — 
Thank God that I have done so, 
And can be calm to-day ! 

For hope deferred — you know it — 
Once made my heart so sick : 

Now, I expect no longer ; 
It is but the old trick 

Of hope, that makes me tremble, 
And makes my heart beat quick. 

All day I sit here calmly ; 

Not as I did before, 
Watching for one whose footstep 

Comes never, never more. . . . 
Hush ! was that some one passing. 

Who paused beside the door'? 

For years I hung on chances, 
Longing for just one word ; 



2o8 RETURNED — " MISSING V 

At last I feel it : — silence 

Will never more be stirred . • • 

Tell me once more that rumor 
You fancied you had heard. 

Life has more things to dwell on. 

Than just one useless pain, 
Useless and past forever ; 

But noble things remain, 
And wait us all : . . . you too, dear, 

Do you think hope quite vain ? 

All others have forgotten, 
'T is right I should forget, 

Nor live on a keen longing 

Which shadows forth regret : • • « 

Are not the letters coming * 
The sun is almost set. 

Now that my restless legion 
Of hopes and fears is fled, 

Reading is joy and comfort .... 
.... This very day I read, 

O, such a strange returning 

Of one whom all thought dead! 

Not that I dream or fancy, 
You know all that is past ; 

Earth has no hope to give me, 
And yet — Time flies so fast 

That all but the impossible 
Might be brought back at last 




IN THE WOOD, 209 



IN THE WOOD. 

N the wood where shadows are deepest 
From the branches overhead, 
Where the wild wood-strawberries cluster 
And the softest moss is spread, 
I met to-day with a fairy, 

And I followed her where she led. 

Some magical words she uttered, 

I alone could understand, 
For the sky grew bluer and brighter ; 

While there rose on either hand 
The cloudy walls of a palace, 

That was built in Fairy-land. 

And I stood in & strange enchantment 5 

I had known it all before : 
In my heart of hearts was the magic 

Of days that will come no more, 
The magic of joy departed, 

That Time can never restore. 

That never, ah, never, never, 

Never again can be : «— 
Shall I tell you what powerful fairy 

Built up this palace for me ? 
It was only a little white Violet 

I found at the root of a tree. 



14 



no 



TWO WORLDS. 



TWO WORLDS 




OD'S world is bathed in beauty, 
God's world is steeped in light ; 
It is the self-same glory 

That makes the day so bright. 
Which thrills the earth with music, 
Or hangs the stars in night. 

Hid in earth's mines of silver, 
Floating on clouds above, — 

Ringing in Autumn's tempest, 
Murmured by every dove, — 

One thought fills God's creation, 
His own great name of Love ! 

In God's world Strength is lovely, 

And so is Beauty strong, 
And Ijght — God's glorious shadow— • 

To both great gifts belong ; 
And they all melt into sweetness, 

And fill the earth with Song. 

Above God's world bends Heaven, 
With day's kiss pure and bright, 

Or folds her still more fondly 
In the tender shade of night ; 

And she casts back Heaven's sweetness, 
In fragrant love and light. 

God's world has one great echo ; 
Whether calm blue mists are curled. 



TWO WORLDS. i* 

Or lingering dew-drops quiver, 

Or red storms are unfurled ; 
The same deep love is throbbing 

Through the great heart of God's world. 

Man's world is black and blighted, 
Steeped through with self and sin , 

And should his feeble purpose 
Some feeble good begin, 

The work is marred and tainted 
By Leprosy within. 

Man's world is bleak and bitter ■ 

Wherever he has trod, 
He spoils the tender beauty 

That blossoms on the sod, 
And blasts the loving Heaven 

Of the great, good world of God. 

There Strength on coward weaknesa 

In cruel might will roll ; 
Beauty and Joy are cankers 

That eat away the soul ; 
And Love — O God, avenge it — 

The plague-spot of the whole. 

Man's world is Pain and Terror; 

He found it pure and fair, 
And wove in nets of sorrow 

The golden summer air. 
Black, hideous, cold, and dreary, 

Man's curse, not God's, is there. 

And yet God's world is speaking: 
Man will not hear it call ; 



A NEW MOTHER. 

But listens where the echoes 

Of his own discords fall, 
Then clamors back to Heaven 

That God has done it all. 

O God, man's heart is darkened, 

He will not understand ! 
Show him Thy cloud and fire ; 

And, with Thine own right hand, 
Then lead him through his desert, 

Back to Thy Holy Land ! 



A NEW MOTHER. 

"WAS with my lady when she died : 
I it was who guided her weak hand 
For a blessing on each little head, 
Laid her baby by her on the bed, 
Heard tiie words they could not understand. 

And I drew them round my knee that night, 
Hushed their childish glee, and made them say 
They would keep her words with loving tears, 
They would not forget her dying fears 
Lest the thought of her should fade away. 

I, who guessed what her last dread had been, 
Made a promise to that still, cold face, 
That her children's hearts, at any cost, 
Should be with the mother they had lost, 
When a stranger came to take her place. 




A NEW MOTHER 21 J 

And * knew so much ! for I had lived 
With my lady since her childhood : known 
What her young and happy days had been, 
And the grief no other eyes had seen 
I had watched and sorrowed for alone. 

Ah ! she once had such a happy smile ! 

I had known how sorely she was tried : 

Six short years before, her eyes were bright 
As her little blue-eyed May's that night, 

When she stood by her dead mother's side. 

No, I will not say he was unkind ; 

But she had been used to love and praise. 

He was somewhat grave, — perhaps, in truths 
Could not weave her joyous, smiling youth 

Into all his stern and serious ways. 

She, who should have reigned a blooming flower, 
First in pride and honor, as in grace, — 
She, whose will had once ruled all around, 
Queen and darling of us all, — - she found 
Change indeed in that cold, stately place. 

Yet she would not blame him, even to me, 
Though she often sat and wept alone ; 
But she could not hide it near her death, 
When she said with her last struggling breath* 
" Let my babies still remain my own ! " 

I it was who drew the sheet aside, 
When he saw his dead wife's face. That test 
Seemed to strike right to his heart. He said, 
In a strange, low whisper, to the dead, 
" God knows, love, I did it for the best 1 * 



214 A HEW MOTHER. 

And he wept — O yes, I will be just — 
When I brought the children to him there, 

Wondering sorrow in their baby eyes ; 

And lie soothed them with his fond replies, 
Bidding me give double love and care. 

Ah, I loved them well for her dear sake : 

Little Arthur, with his serious air ; 

May, with all her mother's pretty ways, 
Blushing, and at any word of praise 

Shaking out her sunny golden 1 air. 

And the little one of all — poor child ! 

She had cost that dear and precious life. 
Once Sir Arthur spoke my lady's name, 
"When the baby's gloomy christening came, 

And he called her "Olga — like my wife ! " 

Save that time, he never spoke of her : 
He grew graver, sterner, every day ; 

And the children felt it, for they dropped 
Low their vo ces, and their laughter stopped, 
While he stood and watched them at their play. 

No, he never named their mother's name. 
But I told them of her : told them all 

She had been ; so gentle, good, and bright; 

And I always took them every night 
Where her picture hung in the great hall. 

There she stood : white daisies in her hand, 

And her red lips parted as to speak 
With a smile ; the blue and sunny air 
Seemed to stir her floating golden hair, 

And to bring a faint blush on her cheek, 



A NEW MOTHER. 215 

Well, so time passed on ; a year was gone, 
And Sir Arthur had been much away. 
Then the news came ! I shed many tears 
When I saw the trutli of all my fears 
Rise before me on that bitter day. 

Any one but her I could have borne ! 

But my lady loved her as her friend. 

Through their childhood and their early youth, 
How she used to count upon the truth 

Of this friendship that would never end ! 

Older, graver than my lady was, 
Whose young, gentle heart on her relied, 

She would give advice, and praise, and blame, 
And my lady leant on Margaret's name, 
As her dearest comfort, help, and guide. 

I had never liked her, and I think 
That my lady grew to doubt her too, 

Since her marriage ; for she named her less, 

Never saw her, and I used to guess 
At some secret wrong I never knew. 

That might be or not. But now, to hear 
She would come and reign here in her stead, 
With the pomp and splendor of a bride : 
Would no thought reproach her in her pride 
With the silent memory of the dead ? 

So, the day came, and the bells rang out, 

And I laid the children's black aside ; 
And I held each little trembling hand, 
As I strove to make them understand 

They must greet their father's new-made bride. 



ai6 A NEW MOTHEH. 

Ah, Sir Arthur might look grave and stern, 
And his lady's eyes might well grow dim, 
When the children shrank in fear away, — 
Little Arthur hid his face, and May 
Would not raise her eyes, or speak to him. 

When Sir Arthur bade them greet their " mother," 
I was forced to chide, yet proud to hear 
How my little loving May replied, 
With her mother's pretty air of pride, — 
" Our dear mother has been dead a year I " 

Ah, the lady's tears might well fall fast, 
As she kissed them, and then turned away. 

She might strive to smile or to forget, 

But I think some shadow of regret 
Must have risen to blight her wedding-day. 

She had some strange touch of self-reproach ; 

For she used to linger day by day, 
By the nursery door, or garden gate, 
With a sad, calm, wistful look, and wait 

Watching the three children at their play. 

But they always shrank away from her 
When she strove to comfort their alarms, 

And their grave, cold silence to beguile : 

Even little Olga's baby-smile 
Quivered into tears when in her arms. 

I could never chide them : for I saw 
How their mother's memory grew more deep 
In their hearts. Each night I had to tell 
Stories of her whom I loved so well 
When a child, to send them off to sleep. 



A NEW MOTHER. Zl7 

But Sir Arthur — O, this was too hard ! — 
He, who had been always stem and sad 
In my lady's time, seemed to rejoice 
Each day more ; and I could hear his voice 
Even, sounding younger and more glad. 

He might perhaps have blamed them, but his wife 
Never failed to take the children's part : 

She would stay him with her pleading tone, 
Saying she would strive, and strive alone, 
Till she gained each little wayward heart. 

And she strove indeed, and seemed to be 
Always waiting for their love, in vain ; 

Yet, when May had most her mother's look, 
Then the lady's calm, cold accents shook 
With some memory of reproachful pain. 

Little May would never call her mother : 

So, one day, the lady, bending low, 

Kissed her golden curls, and softly said, 
" Sweet one, call me Margaret, instead,— 

Your dear mother used to call me so." 

She was gentle, kind, and patient too, 
Yet in vain : the children held apart. 
Ah, their mother's gentle memory dwelt 
Near them, and her little orphans felt 
She had the first claim upon their heart. 

So three years passed ; then the war broke out; 

And a rumor seemed to spread and rise ; 
First we guessed what sorrow must befall, 
Then all doubt fled, for we read it all 

In the depths of her despairing eyes. 



*i8 A NEW MOTHER. 

Yes ; Sir Arthur had been called away 
To that scene of slaughter, fear, and strife, —* 
Now he seemed to know with double pain 
The cold, bitter gulf that must remain 
To divide his children from his wife. 

Nearer came the day he was to sail, 
Deeper grew the coming woe and fear, 

When, one night, the children at my knee 
Knelt to say their evening prayer to me, 
I looked up and saw Sir Arthur near. 

There they knelt with folded hands, and said 
Low, soft words in stammering accents sweet ; 
In the firelight shone their golden hair 
And white robes : my darlings looked so fair, 
With their little bare and rosy feet ! 

There he waited till their low " Amen ! " — 
Stopped the rosy lips raised for " Good night ! " — • 
Drew them with a fond clasp, close and near, 
As he bade them stay with him, and hear 
Something that would make his heart more light 

Little Olga crept into his arms ; 

Arthur leant upon his shoulder ; May 
Knelt beside him, with her earnest eyes 
Lifted up in patient, calm surprise, — 

I can almost hear his words to-day. 

" Years ago, my children, years ago, 
When your mother was a child, she came 
From her Northern home, and here she met 
Love for love, and comfort for regret, 
Id one early friend, — you know her name. 



A NEW MOTHER. 219 

* And this friend — a few years older — gave 
Such food care, such love, that day by day 
The new home grew happy, joy complete, 
Studies easier, and play more sweet, 
While all childish sorrows passed away. 

{l And your mother — fragile, like my May — 
Leant on this deep love, — nor leant in vain. 
For this friend (strong, generous, noble heart !) 
Grave the sweet, and took the bitter part, — 
Brought her all the joy, and kept the pain. 

" Years passed on, and then I saw them first : 
It was hard to say which was most fair, 

Your sweet mother's bright and blushing face, 
Or the graver Margaret's stately grace; 
Golden locks, or braided raven hair. 

" Then it happened, by a strange, sad fate, 
One thought entered into each young soul: 

Joy for one — if for the other pain ; 

Loss for one — if for the other gain : 
One must lose, and one possess the whole. 

" And so this — this — what they cared for — came 
And belonged to Margaret : was her own. 
But she laid the gift aside, to take 
Pain and sorrow for your mother's sake, 
And none knew it but herself alone. 

" Then she travelled far away, and none 
The strange mystery of her absence knew. 
Margaret's secret thought was never told : 
Even your mother thought her changed and colc^ 
And for many years I thought so too. 



220 A NEW MOTHER. 

" She was gone ; and then your mother took 
That poor gift which Margaret laid aside : 
Flower, or toy, or trinket, matters not : 
What it was had better be forgot . . . 
It was just then she became my bride. 

" Now, I think May knows the hope I have. 

Arthur, darling, can you guess the rest? 
Even my little Olga understands 
Great gifts can be given by little hands, 

Since of all gifts Love is still the best. 

" Margaret is my dear and honored wife, 
And I hold her so. But she can claim 
From your hearts, dear ones, a loving debt 
I can neither pay, nor yet forget : 
You can give it in your mother's name. 

" Earth spoils even Love, and here a shade 
On the purest, noblest heart may fall : 
Now your mother dwells in perfect light, 
She will bless us, I believe, to-night, — 
She is happy now, and she knows all." 

Next day was farewell, — a day of tears ; 

Yet Sir Arthur, as he rode away, 

And turned back to see his lady stand 
With the children clinging to her hand, 

Looked as if it were a happy day. 

Ah, they loved her soon ! The little one 

Crept into her arms as to a nest ; 

Arthur always with her now ; and May 
Growing nearer to her every day : — 

—Well, I loved my own dear lady best. 




GIVE PLACE. 221 



GIVE PLACE. 

TARRY Crowns of Heaven 
Set in azure night ! 
Linger yet a little 

Ere you hide your light : — 

— Nay ; let Starlight fade away, 
Heralding the day ! 

Snow-flakes pure and spotless, 

Still, O, still remain, 
Binding dreary winter, 

In your silver chain : — 

— Nay ; but melt at once and bring 
Radiant sunny Spring ! 

Blossoms, gentle blossoms, 

Do not wither yet ; 
Still for you the sun shines, 

Still the dews are wet : — 

— Xay ; but fade and wither fast, 
Fruit must come at last I 

Joy, so true and tender, 

Dare you not abide ? 
Will you spread your pinions, 

Must you leave our side ? 

— Nay ; an Angel's shining grace 
Waits to fill your place ) 




MY WILL. 



MY WILL. 

3INCE I have no lands or houses, 
And no hoarded golden store, 
What can I *lcave those who love me 
When they see my face no more 2 
Do not smile ; I am not jesting, 

Though my words sound gay and light, 
Listen to me, dearest Alice, 
I will make my Will to-night. 

First for Mabel, — who will never 

Let the dust of future years 
Dim the thought of me, but keep it 

Brighter still : perhaps with tears. 
In whose eyes, whate'er I glance at, 

Touch, or praise, will always shine, 
Through a strange and sacred radiance, 

By Love's Charter, wholly mine ; 
She will never lend to others 

Slenderest link of thought I claim, 
I will, therefore, to her keeping 

Leave my memory and my name. 

Bertha will do truer service 

To her kind than I have done, 
So I leave to her young spirit 

The long Work I have begun. 
Well ! the threads are tangled, broken, 

And the colors do not blend, 
She will bend her earnest striving 

Both to finish and amend : 



MY WILL. z» s 

And, when it is all completed, 

Strong with care and rich with skill. 

Just because my hands began it, 
She will love it better still. 

Ruth shall have my dearest token, 

The one link I dread to break, 
The one duty that I live for, 

She, when I am gone, will take. 
Sacred is the trust I leave her, 

Needing patience, prayer, and tears ; 
I have striven to fulfil it, 

As she knows, these many years. 
Sometimes hopeless, faint, and weary, 

Yet a blessing shall remain 
With the task, and Ruth will prize it, 

For my many hours of pain. 

What must I leave you, my Alice ? 

Nothing, Love, to do or bear, 
Nothing that can dim your blue eyes 

With the slightest cloud of care. 
I will leave my heart to love you, 

With the tender faith of old ; 
Still to comfort, warm, and light you, 

Should your life grow dark or cold 
No one else, my child, can claim it ; 

Though you find old scars of pain, 
They were only wounds, my darling, 

There is not, I trust, one stain. 

Are my gifts indeed so worthless 

Now the slender sum is told ? 
Well, I know not : years may bless thm* 

With a nobler price than gold. 




224 KING AND SLAVE. 

Am I poor ? ah no, most wealthy, 
Not in these poor gifts you take, 

But in the true hearts that tell me 
You will keep them for my sake. 



KING AND SLAVE. 

F in my soul, dear, 

An omen should dwell, 
Bidding me pause, ere 
I love thee too well ; 
If the whole circle 

Of noble and wise, 
With stern forebodings, 
Between us should rise ; — 

I will tell them, dear, 

That Love reigns — a King, 
"Where storms cannot reach him* 

And words cannot sting ; 
He counts it dishonor 

His faith to recall ; 
He trusts ; — and forever 

He gives — and gives all ! 

I will tell thee, dear, 

That Love is — a Slave, 
Who dreads thought of freedom, 

As life dreads the grave ; 
And if doubt or peril 

Of change there may be, 
Such fear would but drive him 

Still nearer to thee ! 




A CHANT. 225 

A CHANT. 

u Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini" 



j]HO is the Angel that cometh ? 
Life! 
Let us not question what he brings, 
Peace or Strife ; 
Under the shade of his mighty wings, 
One by one, 
Are his secrets told ; 
One by one, 
Lit by the rays of each morning sun, 
Shall a new flower its petals unfold, 
With the mystery hid in its heart of gold. 
We will arise and go forth to greet him, 

Singly, gladly, with one accord ; — 
" Blessed is he that cometh 

In the name of the Lord ! " 



Who is the Angel that cometh ? 

Joy! 
Look at his glittering rainbow wings,—* 

No alloy 
Lies in the radiant gifts he brings ; 

Tender and sweet, 
He is come to-day, 

Tender and sweet : 
While chains of love on his silver feet 
Will hold him in lingering fond delay. 
But greet him quickly, he will not stay, 

'5 



226 A CHANT. 

Soon he will leave us ; but though for others 

All his brightest treasures are stored, — 
" Blessed is he that eomcth 

In the name of the Lord ! n 

in. 
Who is the Angel that cometh ? 

Pain! 
Let us arise and go forth to greet him ; 

Xot in vain 

Is the summons come for us to meet him ; 

He will stay, 

And darken our sun ; 

He will stay 

A desolate night, a weary clay. 

Since in that shadow our work is done, 
And in that shadow our crowns are won, 
Let us say still, while his bitter chalice 
Slowly into our hearts is poured, — 
" Blessed is he that cometh 

In the name of the Lord \ " 

IV. 

Who is the Angel that cometh ? 

Death ! 
But do not shudder and do not fear ; 

Hold your breath, 
For a kingly presence is drawing nea*. 
Cold and bright 
Is his flashing steel, 
Cold and bright 
The smile that comes like a starry light 
To calm the terror am J grief we Awl ; 
He comes to help and to save and heal J 




DREAM-LIFE. 227 

Then let us, baring our hearts and kneeling, 
Sing, while we wait this Angel's sword, — 
" Blessed is he that cometh 

In the name of the Lord 1 " 



DREAM-LITE. 

ISTEN, friend, and I will tell you 
Why I sometimes seem so glad, 
Then, without a reason changing, 
Soon become so grave and sad. 

Half my life I live a beggar, 

Ragged, helpless, and alone ; 
But the other half a monarch, 

With my courtiers round my throne. 

Half my life is full of sorrow, 
Half of joy, still fresh and new ; 

One of these lives is a fancy, 
But the other one is true. 

While I live and feast on gladness, 
Still I feel the thought remain, 

This must soon end, — nearer, nearer, 
Comes the life of grief and pain. 

While I live a wretched beggar, 
One bright hope my lot can cheer ; 

Soon, soon, thou shalt have thy kingdom, 
Brighter hours are drawing near. 



»ag REST. 

So yon see my life is twofold, 
Half a pleasure, half a grief; 

Tims all joy is somewhat tempered, 
And all sorrow finds relief. 

Which, you ask me, is the real life, 
Which the dream, — the joy, or woe \ 

Hush, friend ! it is little matter, 
And, indeed — I never know. 



REST. 

SPREAD, spread thy silver wings, 
Dove ! 

And seek for rest by land and sea, 
And bring the tidings back to me 
For thee and me and those I love. 

Look how my Dove soars far away ; 

Go with her, heart of mine, I pray ; 

Go where her fluttering silver pinions 

Follow the track of the crimson day. 

Is rest where cloudlets slowly creep, 
And sobbing winds forget to grieve, 
And quiet waters gently heave, 
As if they rocked the ship to sleep ? 

Ah no ! that southern vapor white 
"Will bring a tempest ere the night, 
And thunder through the quiet heaven, 
Lashing the sea in its angry might. 




REST. 



229 



The battle-field lies still and cold, 
AVhile stars that watch in silent light 
Gleam here and there on weapons bright, 
In weary sleepers' slackened hold ; 

Nay, though they dream of no alarm, 
One bogle sound will stir that calm, 
And all the strength of two great nations, 
Eager for battle, will rise and arm. 

Pause where the Pilgrims' day is done, 
Where scrip and staff aside are laid, 
And, resting in the silent shade, 
They watch the slowly sinking sun. 

Ah no ! that worn and weary band 
Must journey long before they stand, 
With bleeding feet, and hearts rejoicing, 
Kissing the dust of the Holy Land. 

Then find a soul who meets at last 

A noble prize but hard to gain, 

Or joy long pleaded for in vain, 

Now sweeter for a bitter past. 

Ah no ! for Time can rob her yet, 
And even should cruel Time forget, 
Then Death will come, and, unrelenting, 
Brand her with sorrowful long regret. 

Seek farther, farther yet, Dove ! 

Beyond the Land, beyond the Sea, 

There shall be rest for thee and me, 

For thee and me and those I love. 
I heard a promise gently fail, 
I heard a far-off Shepherd call 
The weary and the broken-hearted, 
Promising rest unto each and all. 



2 3 o THE TYRANT AND THE CAPTIVE. 

It is not marred by outward strife, 

I> is not lost in calm repose, 

It heedeth neither joys nor woes, 

Is not disturbed by death or life ; 

Through, and beyond them, lies our Rest : 
Then cease, O Heart, thy longing quest ! 
And thou, my Dove, with silver pinions 
Flutter again to thy quiet nest ! 



THE TYRANT AND THE CAPTIVE. 

]T was midnight when I listened, 
And I heard two Voices speak ; 
One was harsh, and stem, and cruel, 
And the other soft and weak : 
Yet I saw no Vision enter, 

And I heard no steps depart, 
Of this Tyrant and his Captive, . . . 
Fate it might be and a Heart. 

Thus the stern Voice spake in triumph : — 

" I have shut your life away 
From the radiant world of nature, 

And the perfumed light of day. 
You, who loved to steep your spirit 

In the charm of Earth's delight, 
See no glory of the daytime, 

And no sweetness of the night." 

But the soft Voice answered calmly: — 
" Nay, for when the March winds bring 




THE TYRANT AND THE CAPTIVE. 231 

Just a whisper to my window, 
I can dream the rest of Spring ; 

And to-day I saw a swallow 
Flitting past my prison bars, 

And my cell has just one corner 
Whence at night I see the stars." 

But its bitter taunt repeating, 

Cried the harsh Voice : — " Where are they, 
All the friends of former hours, 

Who forget your name to-day ? 
All the links of love are shattered, 

Which you thought so strong before ; 
And your very heart is lonely, 

And alone since loved no more/* 

But the low Voice spoke still lower : — 

" Nay, I know the golden chain 
Of my Love is purer, stronger, 

For the cruel fire of pain : 
They remember me no longer, 

But I, grieving here alone, 
Bind their souls to me for ever 

By the love within my own." 

But the Voice cried : — " Once remember 

You devoted soul and mind 
To the welfare of your brethren, 

And the service of your kind. 
Now, what sorrow can you comfort ? 

You, who lie in helpless pain, 
With an impotent compassion 

Fretting out your life in vain." 



a 3 2 THE CARVERS LESSOR. 

" Nay " ; and then the gentle answer 

Rose more loud, and full, and clear : 
" For the sake of all my brethren 

I thank God that I am here ! 
Poor had been my Life's best efforts, 

Now I waste no thought or breath, — 
For the prayer of those who suffer 

Has the strength of Love and Death." 



THE CARVER'S LESSON. 

RUST me, no mere skill of subtle tracery 
No mere practice of a dexterous hanc| 
Will suffice, without a hidden spirit, 
That we may, or may not, understand, 

And those quaint old fragments that are left us 
Have their power in this, — the Carver brought 

Earnest care, and reverent patience, only 
Worthily to clothe some noble thought. 

Shut then in the petals of the flowers, 

' Round the stems of all the lilies twine, 
Hide beneath each bird's or angel's pinion, 
Some wise meaning or some thought divine. 

Place in stony hands that pray forever 

Tender words of peace, and strive to wind 

Round the leafy s rolls and fretted niches 
Some true, loving message to your kind. 




THE CAhVERS LESSON. 233 

Some will praise, some blame, and, soon forgetting, 
Come and go, nor even pause to gaze ; 

Only now and then a passing stranger 
Just may loiter with a word of praise. 

But I think, when years have floated onward, 
A 'id the stone is gray, and dim, and old, 

And the hand forgotten that has carved it, 
And the heart that dreamt it still and cold; 

There may come some weary soul, o'erladen 
With perplexed struggle in his brain, 

Or, it may be, fretted with life's turmoil, 
Or made sore with some perpetual pain. 

Then, I think those stony hands will open, 

And the gentle lilies overflow, 
With the blessing and the loving token. 

That you hid there many years ago. 

And the tendrils will unroll, and teach him 
How to solve the problem of his pain ; 

And the birds' and angels' wings shake downTt-&r<J 
On his heart a sweet and tender rain. 

While he marvels at his fancy, reading 
Meaning in that quaint and ancient scroll, 

Little guessing that the loving Carver 
Left a message for his weary soul. 




234 THREE ROSES. 



THREE ROSES. 

UST when the red Jane Roses blow 
She gave me one, — a year ago. 
A Rose whose crimson breath revealed 
The secret that its heart concealed, 
And whose half shy, half tender grace 
Blushed back upon the giver's face. 
A year ago — a year ago — 
To- hope was not to know. 

Just when the red June Roses blow 
I plucked her one, — a month ago : 
Its half-blown crimson to eclipse, 
I laid it on her smiling lips ; 
The balmy fragrance of the south 
Drew sweetness from her sweeter mouth. 

Swiftly do golden hours creep, — 

To hold is not to keep. 

The red June Roses now are past, 
This very day I broke the last, — 
And now its perfumed breath is hid, 
With her, beneath a coffin-lid ; 
There will its petals fall apart, 
And wither on her icy heart : — 
At three red Roses' cost 
My world was gained and lost. 




MY PICTURE GALLERY. 235 

MY PICTURE GALLERY. 



^OU write and think of me, my friend, 
with pity; 
Wlrile you are basking in the light of 
Rome, 

Shut up within the heart of this great city, 
Too busy and too poor to leave my home. 

11. 
You think my life debarred all rest or pleasure, 
Chained all day to my ledger and my pen ; 
Too sickly even to use my little leisure 
To bear me from the strife and din of men. 



Well, it is true ; yet, now the days are longer, 
At sunset I can lay my writing down, 
And slowly crawl (summer has made me stronger) 
Just to the nearest outskirt of the town. 



There a wide Common, blackened though and dreary 
With factory smoke, spreads outward to the West; 
I lie down on the parched-up grass, if weary, 
Or lean against a broken wall to rest. 

v. 

So might a King, turning to Arts' rich treasure, 
Ax swHPg, when the cares of state were done. 



z 3 6 MY PICTURE GALLERY. 

Enter his royal gallery, drinking pleasure 
Slowly from each great picture, one by one. 



VI. 

Towards the West I turn my weary spirit, 
And watch my pictures : one each night is mine. 
Earth and my soul, sick of day's toil, inherit 
A portion of that luminous peace divine. 



There I have seen a sunset's crimson glory, 
Burn as if earth were one great Altar's blaze ; 
Or, like the closing of a piteous story, 
Light up the misty world with dying rays. 



There I have seen the clouds, in pomp and splendor, 
Their gold and purple banners all unfurl ; 
There I have watched colors, more faint and tender 
Than pure and delicate tints upon a pearl. 

IX. 

Skies strewn with roses fading, fading slowly, 
"While one star trembling watched the daylight die; 
Or deep in gloom a sunset, hidden wholly, 
Save through gold rents torn in a violet sky. 



Or parted clouds, as if asunder riven 
Ey some great angel, and beyond a space 
Of far-off tranquil light ; the gates of Heaven 
Will lead as grandly to as calm a place. 



MY PICTURE GALLERY. 237 



Or stern dark walls of cloudy mountain ranges 
Hid all the wonders that we knew must be ; 
While, far on high, some little white clouds' changes 
Revealed the glory they alone could see. 



Or in wild wrath the affrighted clouds lay shattered, 
Like treasures of the lost Hesperides, 
All in a wealth of ruined splendor scattered, 
Save one strange light on distant silver seas. 



What land or time can claim the Master Painter, 
Whose art could teacli bin half such gorgeous dyes ? 
Or skill so rare, but purer hues and fainter 
Melt every evening in my western skies. 

XIV. 

So there I wait, until the shade has lengthened, 
And night's blue misty curtain floated down ; 
Then, with my heart calmed, and my spirit 

strengthened, 
I crawl once more back to the sultry town. 



What Monarch, then, has nobler recreations 
Than mine ? Or where the great and classic Land 
Whose wealth of Art delights the gathered nations 
That owns a Picture Gallery half as grand 1 




SEXT TO HEAVEN. 



SEXT TO HEAVEN. 



message to send her, 

hom my soul loved best ; 
my task to finish, 
And she was gone home to rest. 

To rest in the far bright Heaven : 

0, so far away from here, 
It was vain to speak to my darling, 

Eor I knew she could not hear ! 

I had a message to send her, 
So tender, and true, and sweet, 

I longed for an Angel to bear it, 
And lay it down at her feet. 

I placed it, one summer evening, 

On a Cloudlet's fleecy breast ; 
But it faded in golden splendor, 

And died in the crimson west. 

I gave it the Lark, next morning, 
And I watched it soar and soar ; 

But its pinions grew faint and weary, 
And it fluttered to earth once more. 

To the heart of a Eose I told it ; 

And the perfume, sweet and rare, 
Growing faint on the blue bright ether, 

Was lost in the balmy air. 



SENT TO HEAVEN. 239 

I laid it upon a Censer, 

And I saw the incense rise ; 
But its clouds of rolling silver 

Could not reach the far blue skies. 

I cried, in my passionate longing : — 
" Has the earth no Angel-friend 

Who will cany my Love the message 
That my heart desires to send 1 " 

Then I heard a strain of music, 

So mighty, so pure, so clear, 
That my very sorrow was silent, 

And my heart stood still to hear. 

« 
And I felt, in my soul's deep yearning, 

At last the sure answer stir : — 
"The music will go up to Heaven, 

And carry my thought to her. " 

It rose in harmonious rushing 

Of mingled voices and strings, 
And I tenderly laid my message 

On the Music's outspread wings. 

I heard it float farther and farther, 
In sound more perfect than speech ; 

Farther than sight can follow, 
Farther than soul can reach. 

And I know that at last my message 
Has passed through the golden gate; 

So my heart is no longer restless, 
And I am content to wait. 




a 4 o NEVER AG Am. 



NEVER AGAIN. 

"1EVER again !" vow hearts when reunited, 
"Never again shall Love be east aside ; 
Forever now the shadow has departed ; 
Nor bitter sorrow, veiled in scornful 
pride, 
Shall feign indifference, or affect disdain, — 
Never, Love, again, never again I " 

" Never again ! " so sobs, in broken accents, 
A soul laid prostrate at a holy shrine, — 

" Once more, once more forgive, O Lord, and pardon, 
My wayward life shall bend to love divine ; 

And never more shall sin its whiteness stain, — 

Never, God, again, never again I " 

" Never again ! " so speakcth one forsaken, 
In the blank desolate passion of despair, — 

" Never again shall the bright dream I cherished 
Delude my heart, for bitter truth is there, — 

The angel, Hope, shall still thy cruel pain 

Never again, my heart, never again ! " 

" Never again ! " so speaks the sudden silence, 
When round the hearth gathers each well-known 
face, 

But one is missing, and no future presence, 
However dear, can fill that vacant place ; 

Forever shall that burning thought remain, — 

" Never, beloved, again ! never again ! " 




LISTENING ANGELA 241 

" Never again ! " so — but beyond our hearing — 
Ring out far voices fading up the sky •, 

Never again shall earthly care and sorrow 

Weigh down the wings that bear those souls on 
high ; 

" Listen, earth, and hear that glorious strain, — 

Never, never again ! never again ! " 



LISTENING ANGELS. 

LITE against the bluer heavens 

Stood the mountain, calm and still, 
Two white Angels, bending earthward, 
Leant upon the hill. 

Listening leant those silent Angels, 

And I also longed to hear 
What sweet strain of earthly music 

Thus could charm their ear. 

I heard the sound of many trumpets 
In a warlike march draw nigh ; 

Solemnly a mighty army 
Passed in order by. 

But the clang had ceased ; the echoes 

Soon had faded from the hill ; 
While the angels, calm and earnest, 

Leant and listened still. 

Then I heard a fainter clamor, 

Forge and wheel were clashing near, 
16 



*42 LISTENING ANGELS. 

And the Reapers in the meadow 
Singing loud and clear. 

When the sunset came in glory, 
And the toil of day was o'er, 

Still the Angels leant in silence, 
Listening as before. 

Then, as daylight slowly vanished, 

And the evening mists grew dim. 
Solemnly from distant voices 

Rose a vesper hymn- 
When the chant was done, and lingering 

Died upon the evening air, 
From the hill the radiant Angels 

Still were listening there. 

Silent came the gathering darkness, 
Bringing with it sleep and rest ; 

Save a little bird was singing 
Near her leafy nest. 

Through the sounds of war and labor 
She had warbled all day long, 

While the Angels leant and listened 
Only to her song. 

But the starry night was coming ; 

When she ceased her little lay 
From the mountain top the Angels 

Slowly passed away. 




GOLDEN DAYS. 243 

GOLDEN DAYS. 

OLDEN days — where are they ? 
Pilgrims east and -west 
Cry ; if we could find them 
We would pause and rest: 
"We would pause and rest a little 

From our long and weary ways : — 
Where are they, then, where arc they — 
Golden days ? 

Golden days — where are they ? 

Ask of childhood's years, 
Still untouched by sorrow, 

Still undimmed by tears : 
Ah, they seek a phantom Future, 

Crowned with brighter, starry rays ; — * 
Where are they, then, where are they — 
Golden days ? 

Golden days — where are they 1 

Has Love learnt the spell 
That will charm them hither, 

Near our hearth to dwell ? 
Insecure are all her treasures, 

Restless is her anxious gaze : — 
Where are they, then, where are they — 
Golden days ? 

Golden days — where are they? 

Farther up the hill 
I can hear the echo 

Faintly calling still . 



244 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 

Faintly calling, faintly dying, 
In a far-oft' misty haze : — 
Where are they, then, where are they^- 
Golden days 2 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 




jTXGEMXG fade the rays of daylight, 
and the listening air is chilly ; 
Voice of bird and forest murmur, in- 
sect 1mm and quivering spray, 
Stir not in that quiet hour: through the valley, 
calm and stilly, 
All in hushed and loving silence watch the slow 
departing day. 

Till the last faint western cloudlet, faint and rosy, 
ceases blushing, 
And the blue grows deep and deeper where one 
trembling planet shines, 
And die day has gone forever — then, like some 
great ocean rushing, 
The sad night wind wails lamenting, sobbing 
through the moaning pines. 

Such, of all day's changing hours, .is the fittest and 
the meetest 
For a farewell hour — and parting looks less 
bitter and more blest ; 
Earth seems like a shrine for sorrow, Nature's 
mother voice is sweetest, 
And her hand seems laid in chiding on the un- 
quiet throbbing breast. 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 245 

Words arc lower, for the twilight seems rebuking 
sad repiuing, 
And wild murmur and rebellion, as all childish 
and in vain ; 
Breaking through dark future hours clustering 
starry hopes seem shining, 
Then the calm and tender midnight folds her 
shadow round the pain. 

So they paced the shady lime- walk in that twilight 
dim and holy, 
Still the last farewell deferring, she could hear 
or he should say ; 
Every word, weighed down by sorrow, fell more 
tenderly and slowly — 
This, which now beheld their parting, should 
have been their wedding-day. 

Should have been : her dreams of childhood, never 
straying, never faltering, 
Still had needed Philip's image to make future 
life complete ; 
Philip's young hopes of ambition, ever changing, 
ever altering, 
Needed Mildred's gentle presence even to make 
successes sweet. 

This day should have seen their marriage ; the 
calm crowning and assurance 
Of two hearts, fulfilling rather, and not changing, 
either life : 
Now they must be rent asunder, and her heart 
must learn endurance, 
For he leaves their home, and enters on a world 
of work and strife. 



2^6 PHILIP AND MILDRED. 

But her gentle spirit long had learnt, unquestioning, 
submitting, 
To revere his youthful longings, and to marvel 
at the fate 
That gave such a humble office, all unworthy and 
unfitting, 
To the genius of the village, who was born for 
something great. 

When the learned Traveller came there who had 
gained renown at college, 
Whose abstruse research hud won him even 
European fame, 
Questioned Philip, praised his genius, marvelled at 
his self-taught knowledge, 
Could she murmur if he called him up to London 
and to fame ? 

Could she waver when he bade her take the burden 
of decision, 
Since his troth to her was plighted, and his life 
was now her own ? 
Could she doom him to inaction ? could she, when 
a new-born vision 
Rose in glory for his future, check it for her sake 
alone 1 

So her little trembling fingers, that had toiled with 
such fond pleasure, 
Paused, and laid aside, and folded the unfinished 
wedding gown ; 
Faltering earnestly assurance, that she too could, 
in her measure, 
Prize for him the present honor, and the future's 
6ure renown. 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 247 

Now they pace the shady lime-walk, now the last 
words must be sjK)ken, 
Words of trust, for neither dreaded more than 
waiting and delay; 
Was not Love still called eternal — could a plighted 
vow be broken ? — 
See the crimson light of sunset fades in purple 
mist away. 

"Yes, my Mildred," Philip told her, "one calm 
thought of joy and blessing, 
Like a guardian spirit by me, through the 
world's tumultuous stir, 
Still will spread its wings above me, and now 
urging, now repressing, 
With my Mildred's voice will murmur thoughts 
of home, and love, and her. 

"It will charm my peaceful leisure, sanctify my 
daily toiling, 
With a right none else possesses, touching my 
heart's inmost string ; 
And to keep its pure wings spotless I shall fly the 
world's touch, soiling 
Even in thought this Angel Guardian of my 
Mildred's Wedding Ring. 

" Take it, dear ; this little circlet is the first link, 
strong and holy, 
Of a life-long chain, and holds me from all other 
love apart ; 
Till the day when you may wear it as my wife — 
my own — mine wholly — 
Let me know it rests forever near the beating of 
your heart." 



248 PHILIP AND MILDRED. 

Dawn of day saw Philip speeding on his road to 
the Great City, 
Thinking how the stars gazed downward just 
with Mildred's patient eyes; 
Dreams of work, and fame, and honor struggling 
with a tender pity, 
Till the loving Past receding saw the conquering 
Future rise. 

Daybreak still found Mildred watching, with the 
wonder of first sorrow, 
How the outward world unaltered shone the same 
this very day ; 
How unpitying and relentless busy life met this 
new morrow, 
Earth, and sky, and man unheeding that her joy 
had passed away. 

Then the round of weary duties, cold and formal, 
came to meet her, 
With the life within departed that had given them 
each a soul ; 
And her sick heart even slighted gentle words that 
came to greet her ; 
For Grief spread its shadowy pinions, like a 
blight, upon the whole. 

Jar one chord, the harp is silent ; more one stone, 
the arch is shattered ; 
One small clarion-cry of sorrow bids an armed 
host awake ; 
One dark cloud can hide the sunlight ; loose one 
string, the pearls are scattered ; 
Think one thought, a soul may perish ; say one 
word, a heart may break 1 



PEll IP AND MILDRED. 249 

Life went on, the two lives running side by side ; 
the outward seeming, 
And the truer and diviner hidden in the heart 
and brain ; 
Dreams grow holy, put in action ; work grows fair 
through starry dreaming ; 
But where each flows on unmingling, both are 
fruitless and in vain. 

Such was Mildred's life ; her dreaming lay in some 
far-distant region, 
All the fairer, all the brighter, that its glories 
were but guessed; 
And the daily round of duties seemed an unreal, 
airy legion, — 
Nothing true save Philip's letters and the ring 
upon her breast. 

Letters telling how he struggled, for some plan or 
vision aiming, 
And at last how he just grasped it as a fresh one 
spread its wings ; 
How the honor or the learning, once the climax, 
now were claiming, 
Only more and more, becoming merely steps to 
higher tilings. 

Telling her of foreign countries : little store had she 
of learning, 
So her earnest, simple spirit answered as he 
touched the string ; 
Day by day, to these bright fancies all her silent 
thoughts were turning, 
Seeing every radiant picture framed within het 
golden ring. 



250 PHILIP AND MILDRED. 

O poor heart I love, if thou wiliest ; but, thine own 
soul still possessing, 
Live thy life : not a reflection or a shadow of his 
own : 
Lean as fondly, as completely, as thou wiliest, — 
but confessing 
That thy strength is God's, and therefore can, if 
need be, stand alone. 

Little means were there around her to make farther, 
wider ranges, 
Where her loving gentle spirit could try any 
stronger flight ; 
And she turned aside, half fearing that fresh thoughts 
were fickle changes, — 
That she must stay as he left her on that farewell 
summer night. 

Love should still be guide and leader, like a herald 
should have risen, 
Lighting up the long dark vistas, conquering all 
opposing fates ; 
But new claims, new thoughts, new duties found 
her heart a silent prison, 
Aiid found Love, with folded pinions, like a 
jailer by the gates. 

Yet why blame her ? it had needed greater strength 
than she was given 
To have gone against the current that so calmly 
flowed along ; 
Nothing fresh came near the village save the rain 
and dew of heaven, 
And her nature was too passive, and her love 
perhaps too strong. 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 251 

The great world of thought, that rushes down tho 
years, and onward sweeping 
Bears upon its mighty billows in its progress 
each and all, 
Flowed so far away, its murmur did not rouse them 
from their sleeping ; 
Life and Time and Truth were speaking, but 
they did not hear their call. 

Years flowed on ; and every morning heard her 
prayer grow lower, deeper, 
As she called all blessings on him, and bade 
every ill depart, 
And each night when the cold moonlight shone 
upon that quiet sleeper, 
It would show her ring that glittered with each 
throbbing of her heart. 

Years passed on. Fame came for Philip in a full, 
o'erflowing measure ; 
He was spoken of and honored through the 
breadth of many lands, 
And he wrote it all to Mildred, as if praise were 
only pleasure, 
As if fame were only honor, when he laid them 
in her hands. 

Mildred heard it without wonder, as a sure result 
expected, 
For how could it fail, since merit and renown go 
side by side : 
And the neighbors who first fancied genius ought 
to be suspected, 
Might at last give up their caution, and could own 
him now with pride. 



252 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. 



Years flowed on. These empty honors led to 
others they called better, 
He had saved some slender fortune, and might 
claim his bride at last : 
Mildred, grown so used to waiting, felt half startled 
by the letter 
That now made her future certain, and would 
consecrate her past. 

And he came : grown sterner, older — changed in- 
deed: a grave reliance 
Had replaced his eager manner, and the quick, 
short speech of old : 
He had gone forth with a spirit half of hope and 
half defiance ; 
He returned with proud assurance half disdainful 
and half cold. 

Yet his old self seemed returning while he stood 
sometimes, and listened 
To her calm, soft voice, relating all the thoughts 
of these long years ; 
And if Mildred's heart was heavy, and at times her 
blue eves glistened, 
Still in thought she would not whisper aught of 
sorrow or of fears. 

Autumn with its golden corn-fields, autumn with 
its storms and showers, 
Had been there to greet his coming with its 
forests gold and brown ; 
And the last leaves still were falling, fading still the 
year's last flowers, 
When he left the quiet village, and took back his 
bride to town. 



PHILIP AND MILDRED, 253 

Home, — the home that she had pictured many a 
time in twilight, dwelling 
On that tender, gentle fancy, folded round with 
loving care ; 
Here was home, — the end, the haven; and what 
spirit voice seemed telling, 
That she only held the casket, with the gem no 
longer there 1 

Sad it may be to be longing, with a patience faint 
and weary, 
For a hope deferred, — and sadder still to see it 
fade and fall ; 
Yet to grasp the thing we long for, and, with sor- 
row sick and dreary, 
Then to find how it can fail us, is the saddest 
pain of all. 

What was wanting? He was gentle, kind, and 
generous still, deferring 
To her wishes always ; nothing seemed to mar 
their tranquil life : 
There are skies so calm and leaden that we long 
for storm-winds stirring, 
There is peace so cold and bitter, that we almost 
welcome strife. 

Darker grew the clouds above her, and the slow 
conviction clearer, 
That he gave her home and pity, but that heart 
and soul and mind 
Were beyond her now ; he loved her, and in youth 
he had been near her, 
But he now had gone far onward, and had left 
her there behind. 



254 PHILIP AND MILDRED. 

Yes, beyond her : yes, quick-hearted, her Love 
helped her in revealing 
It was worthless, while so mighty; was too 
weak, although so strong; 
There were courts she could not enter, depths she 
could not sound ; yet feeling 
It was vain to strive or struggle, vainer still to 
mourn or long. 

He would give her words of kindness, he would 
talk of home, hut seeming 
With an absent look, forgetting if he held or 
dropped her hand ; 
And then turn with eager pleasure to his writing, 
reading, dreaming, 
Or to speak of things with others that she could 
not understand. 

He had paid, and paid most nobly, all he owed ; 
no need of blaming ; 
It had cost him something, may be, that no 
future could restore : 
In her heart of hearts she knew it ; Love and 
Sorrow, not complaining, 
Only suffered all the deeper, only loved him all 
the more. 

Sometimes then a stronger anguish, and more 
cruel, weighed upon her, 
That, through all those years of waiting, he had 
slowly learnt the truth ; 
He had known himself mistaken, but that, bound 
to her in honor, 
He renounced his life, to pay her for the patience 
of her youth. 



PHILIP AND MILDRED. \ ss 

But a star was slowly rising from that mist of 
grief, and brighter 
Grew her eyes, for each slow hour surer comfort 
seemed to bring ; 
And she watched with strange sad smiling how her 
trembling hands grew slighter, 
And how thin her slender finger, and how large 
her wedding-ring. 

And the tears dropped slowly on It, as she kissed 
that golden token 
With a deeper love, it may be, than was in the 
far-off past ; 
And remembering Philip's fancy, that so long ago 
was spoken, 
Thought her ring's bright angel guardian had 
stayed near her to the last. 

Grieving sorely, grieving truly, with a tender care 
and sorrow, 
Philip watched the slow, sure fading of his 
gentle, patient wife ; 
Could he guess with what a yearning she was long- 
ing for the morrow, 
Could he guess the bitter knowledge that had 
wearied her of life ? 

Now with violets strewn upon her, Mildred lies in 
peaceful sleeping ; 
All unbound her long, bright tresses, and her 
throbbing heart at rest, 
And the cold, blue rays of moonlight, through the 
open casement creeping, 
Show the ring upon her finger, and her hands 
crossed on her breast. 



256 



BORROWED THOUGHTS 



Peace at last. Of peace eternal is her calm, sweet 
smile a token. 
Has some angel lingering near her let a radiant 
promise fall ? 
Has he told her Heaven unites again the links that 
Earth has broken ? 
For on Earth so much is needed, but in Heaven 
Love is all ! 



BORROWED THOUGHTS. 



L FROM " LAVATER." 




RUST him little who doth raise 

To one height both great and small, 
And sets the sacred crown of praise, 
Smiling, on the head of all. 



Trust him less who looks around 
To censure all with scornful eyes, 

And in everything has found 
Something that he dare despise. 

But for one who stands apart, 

Stirred by naught that can befall, 

With a cold, indifferent heart, — 
Trust him least and last of alL 




BORROWED THOUGHTS. i^j 



II. FROM " PHAXTASTES." 

HAVE a bitter Thought, a Snake 

That used to sting my life to pain. 
I strove to cast it far away, 
_ But every night and every day 
It crawled back to my heart again I 

It was in vain to live or strive, 

To think or sleep, to work or pray; 
At last I bade this thing accursed 
Gnaw at my heart, and do its worst, 
And so I let it have its way. 

Thus said I, "I shall never fall 
Into a false and dreaming peace, 

And then awake, with sudden start, 

To feel it biting at my heart, 

For now the pain can never cease." 

But I gained more ; for I have found 
That such a snake's envenomed charm 

Must always, always find a part, 

Deep in the centre of my heart, 

Which it can never wound or harm. 

It is coiled round my heart to-day. 

It sleeps at times, this cruel snake, 
And while it sleeps it never stings : — 
Hush ! let us talk of other things, 

Lest it should hear me and awake. 

17 




2 5 8 BORROWED THOUGHTS. 



m. FROM "LOST ALICE.'* 

ES, dear, our Love is slain ; 
In the cold grave for evermore it lies, 

Never to wake again, 
Or light our sorrow with its starry eyes? 

And so — regret is vain. 

One hour of pain and dread, 
We killed our Love, we took its life away 

With the false words we said ; 
And so we watch it, since that cruel day, 

Silent, and cold, and dead. 

We should have seen it shine 
Long years beside us. Time and Death might try 

To touch that life divine, 
Whose strength could every other stroke defy 

Save only thine and mine. 

No longing can restore 
Our dead again. Vain are the tears we weep, 

And vainly we deplore 
Our buried Love : its grave lies dark and deep 

Between us evermore. 



BORROWED THOUGHTS. 



*5i> 



IV. FROM * 




TTHIN the kingdom of my Soul 
I bid you enter, Love, to-day ; 
Submit my life to your control, 
And give my Heart up to your sway. 



My Past whose light and life is flown, 
Shall live through memory for you still ; 
Take all my Present for your own, 
And mould my Future to your will. 

One only thought remains apart, 
And will forever so remain ; 
There is one Chamber in my heart 
Where even you might knock in vain. 

A haunted Chamber : — long ago 
I closed it, and I cast the key 
Where deep and bitter waters flow, 
Into a vast and silent sea. 

Dear, it is haunted. All the rest 
Is yours ; but I have shut that door 
Forever now. 'T is even best 
That I should enter it no more. 



No more. It is not well to stay 
With ghosts ; their very look would scan* 
Your joyous, loving smile away ; — 
So never try to enter there. 



a6o LIGHT AND SHADE. 

Check, if you love me, all regret 
That this one thought remains apart : — 
Now let us smile, dear, and forget 
The haunted Chamber in my Heart. 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 

HOU hast done well to kneel and 
say, 
" Since He who gave can take away, 
And bid me suffer, I obey." 



And also well to tell thy heart, 
That good lies in the bitterest part, 
And thou wilt profit by her smart. 

But bitter hours come to all : 

When even truths like these will pall, 

Sick hearts for humbler comfort call. 




Then I would have thee strive to see 
That good and evil come to thee, 
As one of a great family. 

And as material life is planned, 

That even the loneliest one must stand 

Dependent on his brother's hand ; 

So links more subtle and more fino 
Bind every other soul to thine 
In one great brotherhood divine. 



LIGHT AND SUADK 2 6i 

Nor with thy share of work be vexed ; 
Though incomplete, and even perplext, 
It fits exactly to the next. 

"What seems so dark to thv dim sight 
May be a shadow, seen aright, 
Making some brightness doubly brighi. 

The flash that struck thy tree- '-i** J^re 
To shelter thee — lets Heaven's blue ifc^or 
Shine where it never shone before. 

Thy life that has been dropped aside 
Into Time's stream, may stir the tido 
In rippled circles spreading wide. 

The cry wrung from thy spirit's pain 
May echo on some far-off plain, 
And guide a wanderer home again. • 

Fail — yet rejoice ; because no less 
The failure that makes thy distress 
May teach another full success. 

It may be that in some great need 
Thy life's poor fragments are decreed 
To help build up a lofty deed. 

Thy heart should throb in vast contend 
Thus knowing that it was but meant 
As chord in one great instrument ; 

That even the discord in thy soul 
May make completer music roll 
From out the great harmonious whole. 



262 LIGHT AXD SHADE 

It mar be, that when all is light, 
Deep set within that deep delight 
AVill be to know why all was right ; 

To hear life's perfect music rise, 
And, while it floods the happy skies, 
Thy feeble voice to recognize. 

Then strive more gladly to fulfil 
Thy little part. This darkness stijl 
Is light to every loving will, 

And trust, as if already plain, 
How just thy share of loss and pain 
Is for another fuller gain. 

I dare not limit time or place 
Touched by thy life : nor dare I traco 
Its far vibrations into space. 

One only knows. Yet if the fret 
Of thy weak heart, in weak regret 
Needs a more tender comfort yet : 

Then thou mayst take thy loneliest fears, 
The bitterest drops of all thy tears, 
The dreariest hours of all thy years ; 

And through thy anguish there outspread, 
May ask that God's great love would shed 
Blessings on one beloved head. 

And thus thy soul shall learn to draw 
Sweetness from ont that loving law 
That sees no failure and no flaw 




A CHANGELING. 263 

Where all is good. And life is good, 
Were the one lesson understood 
Of its most sacred brotherhood. 



A CHANGELING. 

LITTLE changeling spirit 
Crept to my arms one day : 

I had no heart or courage 
To drive the child away. 



So all day long I soothed her, 
And hushed her on my breast ; 

And all night long her wailing 
Would never let me rest. 

I dug a grave to hold her, 
A grave both dark and deep ; 

I covered her with violets, 
And laid her there to sleep. 

I used to go and watch there, 
Both night and morning too : — 

It was my tears, I fancy, 
That kept the violets blue. 

I took her up : and once more 

I felt the clinging hold, 
And heard the ceaseless wailing 

That wearied me of old. 



264 DISCOURAGED. 

I wandered, and I wandered, 
With my burden on my breast, 

Till I saw a church-door open, 
And entered in to rest. 

In the dim, dying daylight, 
Set in a flowery shrine, 

I saw the Virgin Mother 
Holding her Child divine. 

I knelt down there in silence, 

And on the altar-stone 
I laid my wailing burden, 

And came away — alone. 

And now that little spirit, 
That sobbed so all day long, 

Is grown a shining angel, 

With wings both wide and strong. 

She watches me from Heaven 
With loving, tender care, 

And one day she has promised 
That I shall find her there. 



DISCOURAGED. 




HERE the little babbling streamlet 
Eirst springs forth to light, 
Trickling through soft velvet mosses, 
Almost hid from sight ; 

Vowed I with delight, — 



DISCOURAGED. 265 

« River, I will follow thee, 

Through thy wanderings to the Sea ! n 

Gleaming 'mid the purple heather, 

Downward then it sped, 
Glancing through the mountain gorges, 

Like a silver thread, 

As it quicker fled, 
Louder music in its flow, 
Dashing to the vale below. 

Then its voice grew lower, gentler, 

And its pace less fleet, 
Just as though it loved to linger 

Round the rushes' feet, 

As they stooped to meet 
Their clear images below, 
Broken by the ripples' flow. 

Purple Willow-herb bent over 

To her shadow fair ; 
Meadow-sweet, in feathery clusters, 

Perfumed all the air ; 

Silver-weed was there, 
And in one calm, grassy spot, 
Starry, blue Forget-me-not. 

Tangled weeds, below the waters, 
Still seemed drawn away ; 

Yet the current, floating onward, 
Was less strong than they ; — 
Sunbeams watched their play, 

With a flickering light and shade, 

Through the screen the Alders made. 



266 DISCOURAGED. 

Broade** grew the flowing River 

To its grassy brink ; 
Slowly, in the slanting sun-rays, 

Cattle trooped to drink ; 

The blue sky, I think, 
Was no bluer than that stream, 
Slipping onward, like a dream. 

Quicker, deeper then it hurried, 
Rushing fierce and free ; 

But I said, " It should grow calmer 
Ere it meets the Sea, 
The wide purple Sea, 

Which I weary for in vain, 

Wasting all my toil and pain." 

But it rushed still quicker, fiercer, 

In its rocky bed, 
Hard and stony was the pathwaj 

To my tired tread ; 

" I despair," I said, 
u Of that wide and glorious Sea 
That was promised unto me." 

So I turned aside, and wandered 
Through green meadows near, 

Far away, among the daisies, 
Far away, for fear 
Lest I still should hear 

The loud murmur of its song, 

As the River flowed along. 

Now I hear it not : — I loiter 
Gayly as before ; 




IF THOU COULDST KNOW. 2 6 7 

Yet I sometimes think, — and thinking 

Makes my heart so sore, — 

Just a few steps more, 
And there might have shone for me, 
Blue and infinite, the Sea. 



IF THOU COULDST KNOW. 

gf] THINK if thou couldst know, 
O soul that will complain, 
What lies concealed below 
Our burden and our pain ; 
How just our anguish brings 
Nearer those longed-for things 
We seek for now in vain, — 
I think thou wouldst rejoice, and not complain. 

I think if thou couldst see, 

With thy dim mortal sight, 
How meanings, dark to thee, 
Are shadows hiding light ; 
Truth's efforts crossed and vexedj 
Life's purpose all perplexed, — 
If thou couldst see them right, 
1 think that they would seem all clear, and wisc^ 
and bright. 

And yet thou canst not know, 
And yet thou canst not see ; 

Wisdom and sight are slow 
In poor humanity. 




268 THE WARRIOR TO II IS DEAD BRIDE. 

If thou couldst trust, poor soul, 
In Him who rules the whole, 
Thou wouldst find peace and rest : 
Wisdom and sight are well, but Trust is best. 



THE WARRIOR TO HIS DEAD BRIDE 

F in the fight my arm was strong 
And forced my foes to yield, — 
If conquering and unhurt I came 
Back from the battle-field, — 
It is because thy prayers have been 
My safeguard and my shield. 

My comrades smile to see my arm 

Spare or protect a foe, 
They think thy gentle pleading voice 

Was silenced long ago ; 
But pity and compassion, love, 

Were taught me first by woe. 

Thy heart, my own, still beats in Heaven 

With the same love divine 
That made thee stoop to such a soul, 

So hard, so stern as mine, — 
My eyes have learnt to weep, beloved, 

Since last they looked on thine. 

I hear thee murmur words of peace 
Through the dim midnight air, 



A LETTER. ^69 

And a calm falls from the angel stars 
And soothes my great despair, — 

The heavens themselves look brighter, love, 
Since thy sweet soul is there. 

And if my heart is once more calm, 

My step is once more free, 
It is because each hour I feel 

Thou prayest still for me ; 
Because no fate or change can come 

Between my soul and thee. 

It is because my heart is stilled, 

Not broken by despair, 
Because I see the grave is bright, 

And death itself is fair : — 
I dread no more the wrath of Heaven, — 

I have an angel there ! 



A LETTER. 

]EAR, I tried to write you such a letter 
As would tell you all my heart to-day. 
Written Love is poor ; one word were 
better ; 
Easier, too, a thousand times, to say. 

I can tell you all : fears, doubts unheeding, 
While I can be near you, hold your hand, 
Looking right into your eyes, and reading 
Reassurance that you understand 




2 7 o A LETTER. 

Yet I wrote it through, then lingered, thinking 
Of its reaching you, — what hour, what day ; 
Till I felt my heart and courage sinking 
With a strange, new, wondering dismay. 

" Will my letter fall," I wondered sadly, 
" On her mood like some discordant tone, 
Or be welcomed tenderly and gladly ? 
Will she be with others, or alone'? 

" It may find her too absorbed to read it, 
Save with hurried glance and careless air : 
Sad and weary, she may scarcely heed it ; 
Gay and happy, she may hardly care. 

" Shall I — dare I — risk the chances 1 " slowly 
Something — was it shyness, love, or pride? — 
Chilled my heart, and checked my courage wholly ; 
So I laid it wistfully aside. 

Then I leant against the casement, turning 
Tearful eyes towards the far-off west, 
Where the golden evening light was burning, 
Till my heart throbbed back again to rest. 

And I thought :. " Love's soul is not in fetters, 
Neither space nor time keeps souls apart ; 
Since I cannot — dare not — send my letters, 
Through the silence I will send my heart. 

" If, perhaps now, while my tears are falling, 
She is dreaming quietly alone, 
She will hear my Love's far echo calling, 
Feel my spirit drawing near her own* 



A COMFORTER. 271 

" She will hear, while twilight shades enfold her, 
All the gathered Love she knows so well, — 
Deepest Love my words have ever told her, 
Deeper still — all I could never tell. 

" Wondering at the strange, mysterious power 
That has touched her heart, then she will say : 
* Some one whom I love, this very hour, 
Thinks of me, and loves me, far away/ 

" If, as well may be, to-night has found her 
Full of other thoughts, with others by, 
Through the words and claims that gather round hei 
She will hear just one half-smothered sigh ; 

" Or will marvel why, without her seeking, 
Suddenly the thought of me recurs ; 
Or, while listening to another speaking, 
Fancy that my hand is holding hers." 

So I dreamed, and watched the stars' far splendor 
Glimmering on the azure darkness, start, — 
While the star of trust rose bright and tender. 
Through the twilight shadows of my heart. 



A COMFORTER. 



ILL she come to mc, little Effie, 

Will she come in my arms to rest, 
And nestle her head on my shoulder, 
While the sun goes down in the west ? 




2 7 a A COMFORTER. 



ii. 



" I and Effie will sit together, 

All alone, in this great arm-chair : 

Is it silly to mind it, darling, 
When Life is so hard to bear ? 



" No one comforts me like my Effie, 
Just I think that she does not try, — 

Only looks with a wistful wonder 
Why grown people should ever cry ; 



" While her little soft arms close tighter 
Bound my neck in their clinging hold : 

Well, I must not cry on your hair, dear, 
For my tears might tarnish the gold. 

v. 

" I am tired of trying to read, dear ; 

It is worse to talk and seem gay : 
There are some kinds of sorrow, Effie, 

It is useless to thrust away. 



* Ah, advice may be wise, my darlings 
But one always knows it before ; 

And the reasoning down one's sorrow 
Seems to make one suffer the more. 

VII. 

"But my Effie won't reason, will she 1 
Or endeavor to understand ; 






A. COMFORTER. 27J 

Only holds up her mouth to kiss me, 
As she strokes my face with her hand. 

VIII. 

u If you break your plaything yourself, dear, 
Don't you cry for it ail the same ? 

t don't think it is such a comfort, 
One has only one's self to blame. 

IX. 

" People say things cannot be helped, dear, 
But then that is the reason why ; 

for if things could be helped or altered, 
One would never sit down to cry : 



* They say, too, that tears are quite useless 
To undo, amend, or restore, — 

When I think how useless, my Effie, 
Then my tears only fall the more. 



« All to-day I struggled against it ; 

But that does not make sorrow cease ; 
And now, dear, it is such a comfort 

To be able to cry in peace. 

XII. 

" Though wise people would call that folly, 
And remonstrate with grave surprise ; 

We won't mind what they say, my Effie ; -^ 
We never professed to be wise. 
18 



274 A COMFORTER, 

XIII. 

" But my comforter knows a lesson 
Wiser, truer than all the rest : — 

That to help and to heal a sorrow, 
Love and silence are always best 

XIV. 

" Well, who is my comforter — tell me % 
Effie smiles, but she will not speak : 

Or look up through the long curled lashef 
That are shading her rosy cheek. 



" Is she thinking of talking fishes, 

The blue-bird, or magical tree ? 
Perhaps I am thinking, my darling, 

Of something that never can be. 

XVI. 

u You long — don't you, dear ? — for the Genii, 
Who were slaves of lamps and of rings ; 

And I — I am sometimes afraid, dear, 
I want as impossible things. 

XVII. 

" But hark ! there is Nurse calling Effie ! 

It is bedtime, so run away ; 
And I must go back, or the others 

Will be wondering why I stay. 



" So good-night to my darling Effie ; 

Keep happ\, sweetheart, and grow wise : 
There 's one kiss for her golden tresses, 

And two for her sleepy eyes" 



UNSEEN. 



UNSEEN. 



275 




jJHERE are more things in Heaven and 
Earth than we 
Can dream of, or than Nature under- 
stands ; 

We learn not through our poor philosophy 
What hidden chords are touched by unseen hand! 

The present hour repeats upon its strings 
Echoes of some vague dream we have forgot ; 
Dim voices whisper half-remembered things, 
And when we pause to listen — answer not. 

Forebodings come : we know not how, or whence, 
Shadowing a nameless fear upon the soul, 
And stir within our hearts a subtler sense 
Than light may read, or wisdom may control. 

And who can tell what secret links of thought 
Bind heart to heart ? Unspoken things are heard, 
As if within our deepest selves was brought 
The soul, perhaps, of some unuttered word. 

But, though a veil of shadow hangs between 
That hidden life and what we see and hear, 
Let us revere the power of the Unseen, 
And know a world of mystery is near. 



a 7 6 A REMEMBRANCE OF AUTUMN. 



A REMEMBRANCE OF AUTUMN. 




OTHING stirs the sunny silence, — 
Save the drowsy humming of the bees 
Round the rich ripe peaches on thi 
wall, 
And the south wind sighing in the trees, 

And the dead leaves rustling as they fall : 
While the swallows, one by one, are gathering, 

All impatient to be on the wing, 
And to wander from us, seeking 

Their beloved Spring ! 

Cloudless rise the azure heavens ! 

Only vaporous wreaths of snowy white 
Nestle in the gray hill's rugged side ; 
And the golden woods are bathed in light, 
Dying, if they must, with kingly pride : 
While the swallows, in the blue air wheeling, 

Circle now an eager, fluttering band, 
Ready to depart and leave us 

For a brighter land ! 

But a voice is sounding sadly, 
Telling of a glory that has been ; 

Of a day that faded all too fast : — - 
See afar through the blue air serene 

Where the swallows wing their way at last, 
And our hearts perchance as sadly wandering, 

Vainly seeking for a long-lost day, 
While we watch the far-off swallows, 
Flee with them away \ 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 



277 



THPvEE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 




ES, it looked dark and dreary 
That long and narrow street : 
Only the sound of the rain, 
And the tramp of passing feet, 
The duller glow of the fire, 

And gathering mists of night 
To mark how slow and weary 
The long day's cheerless flight! 



11. 

Watching the sullen fire, 

Hearing the dreary rain, 
Drop after drop, run down 

On the darkening window-pan© : 
Chill was the heart of Alice, 

Chill as that winter day, — 
For the star of her life had risen 

Only to fade away. 



The voice that had been so strong 

To bid the snare depart, 
The true and earnest will, 

The calm and steadfast heart, 
Were now weighed down by sorrow, 

Were quivering now with pain ; 
The clear path now seemed clouded, 

And all her grief in vain. 



+*» THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE, 

IT. 

-Outy, Eight, Truth, who promised 

To help and save their own, 
Seemed spreading wide their pinions 

To leave her there alone. 
80, turning from the Present 

To well-known days of yore, 
She called on them to strengthen 

And guard her soul once more. 



She thought how in her girlhood 

Her life was given away, 
The solemn promise spoken 

She kept so well to-day ; 
How to her brother Herbert 

She had been help and guide, 
And how his artist nature 

On her calm strength relied. 

VI. 

How through life's fret and turmoil 

The passion and fire of art 
In him was soothed and quickened 

By her true sister heart ; 
How future hopes had always 

Been for his sake alone ; 
And now — what strange new feeling 

Possessed her as its own 1 



Her home — each flower that breathed there, 
The wind's sigh, soft and low, 



J 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 279 

Each trembling spray of ivy, 

The river's murmunng flow, 
The shadow of the forest, 

Sunset, or twilight dim, — 
Dear as they were, were dearer 

By leaving them for him. 



And each year as it found her 

In the dull, feverish town, 
Saw self still more forgotten, 

And selfish care kept down 
By the calm joy of evening 

That brought him to her side, 
To warn him with wise counsel, 

Or praise with tender pride. 

IX. 

Her heart, her life, her future, 

Her genius, only meant 
Another thing to give him, 

And be therewith content. 
To-day, what words had stirred her, 

Her soul could not forget ? 
What dream had filled her spirit 

With strange and wild regret ? 



To leave him for another,—? 

Could it indeed be so ? 
Could it have cost such anguish 

To bid this vision go ? 



z8o THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 

Was this her faith 1 Was Herbert 
The second in her heart \ 

Did it need all this struggle 
To bid a dream depart ? 



And yet, within her spirit 

A far-off land was seen, 
A home, which might have held hei^ 

A love, which might have been, 
And Life — not the mere being 

Of daily ebb and flow, 
But Life itself had claimed her, 

And she had let it go ! 

XII. 

Within her heart there echoed 

Again the well-known tone 
That promised this bright future, 

And asked her for her own : 
Then words of sorrow, broken 

By half-reproachful pain ; 
And then a farewell, spoken 

In words of cold disdain. 



Where now was the stern purpose 
That nerved her soul so long ? 

Whence came the words she uttered. 
So hard, so cold, so strong ? 

What right had she to banish 
A hope that God had given 1 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. *gj 

Why must she choose earth's portion, 
And turn aside from Heaven ? 



XIV. 

To-day ! "Was it this morning % 

If this long, fearful strife 
Was but the work of hours, 

What would be years of life I 
Why did a cruel Heaven 

For such great suffering call ? 
And why — O still more cruel ! — 

Must her own words do all 1 



Did she repent ? O Sorrow ! 

Why do we linger still 
To take thy loving message, 

And do thy gentle will ? 
See, her tears fall more slowly, 

The passionate murmurs cease, 
And back upon her spirit 

Flow strength, and love, and peace, 

xvi. 

The fire burns more brightly, 

The rain has passed away, 
Herbert will see no shadow 

Upon his home to-day : 
Only that Alice greets him 

With doubly tender care, 
Kissing a fonder blessing 

Down on his golden hair. 



282 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 



n. 




l[HE Studio is deserted, 

Palette and brush laid by, 
The sketch rests on the easel, 
The paint is scarcely dry ; 
And Silence — who seems always 

Within her depths to bear 
The next sound that will utter - — 
Now holds a dumb despair. 



ii. 

So Alice feels it : listening 

With breathless, stony fear, 
Waiting the dreadful summons 

Each minute brings more near : 
When the young life, now ebbing, 

Shall fail, and pass away 
Into that mighty shadow 

Who shrouds the house to-day. 



in. 

But why — when the sick-chamber 

Is on the upper floor — 
Why dares not Alice enter 

Within the close-shut door 1 
If he — her all — her Brother, 

Lies dying in that gloom, 
What strange mysterious power 

Has sent her from the room ? 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIF4. 2 8 3 

IV. 

It is not one week's anguish 

That can have changed her so ; 
Joy has not died here lately, 

Struck down by one quick blow ; 
But cruel months have needed 

Their long relentless chain, 
To teach that shrinking manner 

Of helpless, hopeless pain. 



The struggle was scarce over 

Last Christmas Eve had brought ■ 
The fibres still were quivering 

Of the one wounded thought, 
When Herbert — who, unconscious, 

Had guessed no inward strife — 
Bade her, in pride and pleasure, 

Welcome his fair young wife, 



Bade her rejoice, and smiling, 

Although his eyes were dim, 
Thanked God he thus could pay her 

The care she gave to him. 
This fresh bright life would bring her 

A new and joyous fate — 
O Alice, check the murmur 

That cries, " Too late ! too late ! " 

VII. 

Too late ! Could she have known it 
A few short weeks before. 



2 8* TiIREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 

That his life was completed, 
And needing hers no more, 

She might • O sad repining ! 

What " might have been " forget; 

" It was not " should suffice us 
To stifle vain regret. 



He needed hep no longer, 

Each day it grow more plain ; 
First with a startled wonder, 

Then with a wondering pain- 
Love : why, his wife best gave it ; 

Comfort : durst Alice speak, 
Or counsel, when resentment 

Flushed on the young wife's cheek. 

IX. 

No more long talks by firelight 

Of childish times long past, 
And dreams of future greatness 

Which he must reach at last ; 
Dreams, where her purer instinct 

With truth unerring told 
Where was the worthless gilding, 

And where refined gold. 



Slowly, but surely ever, 
Dora's poor jealous pride, 

Which she called love for Herbert 
Drove Alice from his side ; 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. £85 

And, spite of nervous effort 

To share their altered life, 
She felt a check to Herbert, 

A burden to his wife. 



This was the least ; for Alice 

Feared, dreaded, knew at length 
How much his nature owed her 

Of truth, and power, and strength ; 
And watched the daily failing 

Of all his nobler part : 
Low aims, weak purpose, telling 

In lower, weaker art. 

XII. 

And now, when he is dying, 

The last words she could hear 
Must not be hers, but given 

The bride of one short year. 
The last care is another's ; 

The last prayer must not be 
The one they learnt together 

Beside their mother's knee. 

XIII. 

Summoned at last : she kisses 

The clay-cold stiffening hand ; 
And, reading pleading efforts 

To make her understand, 
Answers, with solemn promise, 

In clear but trembling tone, 
To Dora's life henceforward 

She will devote her own. 



t86 THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 

XIV. 

Now all is over. Alice 

Dares not remain to weep, 
But soothes the frightened Dora 

Into a sobbing sleep. 
The poor weak child will need her : , 

O, who can dare complain, 
When God sends a new Duty 

To comfort each new Pain ! 



m. 



JjHE House is all deserted 
In the evening gloom, 
Only one figure passes 

Slowly from room to room J 
And, pausing at each doorway, 

Seems gathering up again 
Within her heart the relics 
Of bygone joy and pain. 



There is an earnest longing 

In those who onward gaze, 
Looking with weary patience 

Towards the coming days. 
There is a deeper longing, 

More sad, more strong, more keen: 
Those know it who look backward, 

And yearn for what has been. 




THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 287 



At every hearth she pauses, 

Touches each well-known chair ; 
Grazes from every window, 

Lingers on every stair. 
What have these months brought Alice 

Now one more year is past ? 
This Christmas Eve shall tell us, 

The third one and the last. 

IV. 

The wilful, wayward Dora, 

In those first weeks of grief, 
Could seek and find in Alice 

Strength, soothing, and relief. 
And Alice — last sad comfort 

True woman-heart can take — 
Had something still to suffer 

And bear for Herbert's sake. 

v. 

Spring, with her western breezes, 

From Indian islands bore 
To Alice news that Leonard 

Would seek his home once more. 
What was it, — joy, or sorrow ? 

What were they, — hopes, or fears f 
That flushed her cheeks with crimoon, 

And filled her eyes with tears 1 

VI. 

He came. And who so kindly 
Could ask and hear her tell 



*rfS THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 

Herbert's last hours ; for Leonard 
Had known and loved him well, 

Daily he came ; and Alice, 
Poor weary heart, at length, 

Weighed down by others' weakness. 
Could lean upon his strength. 



Yet not the voice of Leonard 

Could her true care beguile, 
That turned to watch, rejoicing, 

Dora's reviving smile. 
So, from that little household 

The worst gloom passed away, 
The one bright hour of evening 

Lit up the livelong day. 



Days passed. The golden summer 

In sudden heat bore down 
Its blue, bright, glowing sweetness 

Upon the scorching town. 
And sights and sounds of country 

Came in the warm soft tune 
Sung by the honeyed breezes 

Borne on the wings of June. 

IX. 

One twilight hour, but earlier 
Than usual, Alice thought 

She knew the fresh sweet fragrance 
Of flowers that Leonard brought ; 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE, 289 

Through opened doors and windows 
It stole up through the gloom, 

And with appealing sweetness 
Drew Alice from her room. 



Yes, he was there ; and, pausing 

Just near the opened door, 
To check her heart's quick beating, 

She heard — and paused still more — 
His low voice — Dora's answers — 

His pleading — Yes, she knew 
The tone — the words — the accents ; 

She once had heard them too. 

XI. 

" "Would Alice blame her ? " Leonard's 

Low, tender answer came : 
* Alice was far too noble 

To think or dream of blame. n 
u And was he sure he loved her ? n 

" Yes, with the one love given 
Once in a lifetime only, 

With one soul and one heaven ! " 

XII. 

Then came a plaintive murmur, — 

" Dora had once been told 
That he and Alice — " " Dearest* 

Alice is far too cold 
To love ; and I, my Dora, 

If once I fancied so, 
It was a brief delusion, 

And over — long ago n 
10 



* 9 o THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 

XIII. 

Between the Past and Present, 

On that bleak moment's height, 
She stood. As some lost traveller, 

By a quick flash of light 
Seeing a gulf before him, 

"With dizzy, sick despair, 
Reels backward, but to find it 

A deeper chasm there. 



The twilight grew still darker, 

The fragrant flowers more sweet, 
The stars shone out in heaven, 

The lamps gleamed down the street r 
And hours passed in dreaming 

-Over their new-found fate, 
Ere they could think of wondering 

Why Alice was so late. 



She came, and calmly listened j 

In vain they strove to trace 
If Herbert's memory shadowed 

In grief upon her face. 
No blame, no wonder showed there, 

No feeling could be told ; 
Her voice was not less steady, 

Her manner not more cold. 



They could not hear the anguish 
That broke in words of pain 



THREE EVENINGS IN A LIFE. 291 

Through the calm summer midnight, — 

" My Herbert — mine again ! " 
Yes, they have once been parted, 

Buc this day shall restore 
The long-lost one : she claims him : 

" My Herbert — mine once more ! " 

XVII. 

Now Christmas Eve returning 

Saw Alice stand beside 
The altar, greeting Dora, 

Again a smiling bride ; 
And now the gloomy evening 

Sees Alice pale and worn, 
Leaving the house forever, 

To wander out forlorn. 



Forlorn — nay, not so. Anguish 

Shall do its work at length ; 
Her soul, passed through the fire, 

Shall gain still purer strength. 
Somewhere there waits for Alice 

An earnest, noble part ; 
And meanwhile God is with her,- 

God, and her own true heart ! 



*9i 



THE WIXD. 



THE WIND. 




HUE wind went forth o'er land and sea, 
Loud and free ; 
Foaming waves leapt up to meet it, 
Stately pines bowed down to greet it ; 
While the wailing sea 
And the forest's murmured sigh 
Joined the cry 
Of the wind that swept o'er land and sea. 

The wind that blew upon the sea 
Pierce and free, 
Cast the bark upon the shore, 
Whence it sailed the night before 

Full of hope and glee ; 
And the cry of pain and death 
Was but a breath, 
Through the wind that roared upon the sea. 

The wind was whispering on the lea 
Tenderly ; 
But the white rose felt it pass, 
And the fragile stalks of grass 

Shook with fear to see 
All her trembling petals shed, 
As it fled 
So gently by, — the wind upon the lea. 

Blow, thou wind, upon the sea 
Fierce and free, 



EXPECTATION. z 9i 

And a gentler message send, 

Where frail floweis and grasses bend, 

On the sunny lea ; 
For thy bidding still is one, 
Be it done 
In tenderness or wrath, on land or sea I 



EXPECTATION. 




HE Ring's three daughters stood on the 
terrace, 
The hanging terrace, so broad and green, 
Which keeps the sea from the marble 
Palace : 
There was Princess May, and Princess Alice, 
And the youngest Princess, Gwendoline. 

Sighed Princess May, " Will it last much longer, 
Time throbs so slow and my Heart so quick ; 
And how long is the day in dying ! 
Weary am I of waiting and sighing, 
Eor Hope deferred makes the spirit sick." 

But Princess Gwendoline smiled and kissed her : — 

" Am I not sadder than you, my Sister ? 

Expecting joy is a happy pain. 

The Future's fathomless mine of treasures, 

Ail countless hordes of possible pleasures, 

Might bring their store to my feet in vain." 

Sighed Princess Alice as night grew nearer. -»• 
" So soon, so soon, is the daylight fled ! 



a 9 4 AN IDEAL. 

And O how fast comes the dark to-morrow, 
AVlio hides, perhaps, in her veil of sorrow 
The terrible hour I wait and dread ! " 

But Princess Gwendoline kissed her, sighing, — 

" It is only Life that can fear dying ; 

Possible loss means possible gain. 

Those who still dread are not quite forsaken ; 

But not to fear, because all is taken, 

Is the loneliest depth of human pain/' 



AN IDEAL. 




HILE the gray mists of early dawn 
Were lingering round the hill, 
And the dew was still upon the flowers, 
And the earth lay calm and still, 
A winged Spirit came to me, 
Noble, and radiant, and free. 

Folding his blue and shining wings, 

He laid his hand on mine. 
I know not if I felt, or heard 

The mystic word divine, 
Which woke the trembling air to sighs, 
And shone from out his starry eyes. 

The word he spoke within my heart 

Stirred life unknown before, 
And cast a spell upon my soul 

To chain it evermore ; 
Making the cold, dull earth look bright, 
And skies flame out in sapphire light. 



AN IDEAL. 295 

When noon ruled from the heavens, and man 

Through busy day toiled on, 
My Spirit drooped his shining wings ; 

His radiant smile was gone ; 
His voice had ceased, his grace had flown, 
His hand grew cold within my own. 

Bitter, O bitter tears I wept, 

Yet still I held his hand, 
Hoping with vague unreasoning hope : 

I would not understand 
That this pale Spirit nevermore 
Could be what he had been before. 

Could it be so ? My heart stood still. 

Yet he was by my side. 
I strove ; but my despair was vain ; 

Vain too was love and pride 
Could he have changed to me so soon ? 
My day was only at its noon. 

Now stars are rising one by one, 

Through the dim evening air ; 
Near me a household Spirit waits, 

With tender loving care ; 
He speaks and smiles, but never sings, 
Long since he lost his shining wings. 

With thankful, true content, I know 

This is the better way ; 
Is not a faithful spirit mine — 

Mine still — at close of day ? . . . . 
Yet will my foolish heart repine 
For that bright morning dream of mine. 




* 9 6 OUR DEAD. 



OUR DEAD. 

NOTHING is our own : we hold oul 
pleasures 
Just a little while, ere they are fled : 
!S| Oue by one life robs us of our treasures ; 
Nothing is our own except our Dead. 

They are ours, and hold in faithful keeping, 
Safe forever, all they took away. 
Cruel life can never stir that sleeping, 
Cruel time can never seize that prey. 

Justice pales ; truth fades ; stars fall from heaven ; 
Human are the great whom we revere : 
No true crown of honor can be given, 
Till we place it on a funeral bier. 

How the Children leave us : and no traces 
Linger of that smiling angel band ; 
Gone, forever gone ; and in their places 
Weary men and anxious women stand. 

Yet we have some little ones, still ours ; 
They have kept the baby smile we know, 
Which we kissed one day, and hid with flowers, 
On their dead white faces, long ago. 

When our Joy is lost — and life will take it — 
Then no memory of the past remains ; 
Save with some strange, cruel sting, to make it 
Bitterness beyond all present pains. 



A WOMAN* H ANSWER. 297 

Death, more tender-hearted, leaves to sorrow 
Still the radiant shadow, fond regret : 
We shall lind, in some far, bright to-morrow, 
Joy that he has taken, living yet. 

Is Love ours, and do we dream we know it, 
Bound with ail our heart-strings, all our own ? 
Any cold and cruel dawn may show it, 
Shattered, desecrated, overthrown. 

Only the dead Hearts forsake us never ; 
Death's last kiss has been the mystic sign 
Consecrating Love our own forever, 
Crowning it eternal and divine. 

So when Fate would fain besiege our city, 
Dim our gold, or make our flowers fall, 
Death, the Angel, comes in love and pity, 
And, to save our treasures, claims them all 



A WOMAX'S ANSWER. 



I itfMrS 




"WILL not let you say a Woman's part 
Must be to give exclusive love alone ; 
Dearest, although I love you so, mj 
heart 
Answers a thousand claims besides your own. 

1 love — what do I not love ? earth and air 

Find space within my heart, and myriad things 

You would not deign to heed are cherished there, 
And vibrate on its verv inuiust strings. 



a 9 8 A WOMAN'S ANSWER. 

I love the Summer with her ebb and flow 

Of light, and warmth, and music, that have nurst 

Her tender buds to blossoms . . . and you know 
It was in summer that I saw you first. 

I love the Winter dearly too, .... but then 
I owe it so much ; on a winter's day, 

Bleak, cold, and stormy, you returned again, 
When you had been those weary months away. 

I love the Stars like friends ; so many nights 
I gazed at them, when you were far from me, 

Till I grew blind with tears .... those far-off lights 
Could watch you, whom I longed in vain to see. 

I love the Flowers ; happy hours lie 

Shut up within their petals close and fast : 

You have forgotten, dear ; but they and I 
Keep every fragment of the golden Past. 

I love, too, to be loved ; all loving praise 

Seems like a crown upon my Life, — to make 

It better worth the giving, and to raise 

Still nearer to your own the heart you take. 

I love all good and noble souls ; — I heard 
One speak of you but lately, and for days, 

Only to think of it, my soul was stirred 
In tender memory of such generous praise. 

I love all those who love you ; all who owe 
Comfort to you : and I can find regret 

Kven for those poorer hearts who once could know 
And once could love you, and can now forget 



THE FAITHFUL SOUL. 299 

Well, is my heart so narrow, — I, who spare 
Love for all these 1 Do I not even hold 

My favorite books in special tender care, 
And prize them as a miser does his gold 1 

The Poets that you used to read to me 
While summer twilights faded in the sky ; 

But most of all I think Aurora Leigh, 

Because — because — do you remember why ? 

Will you be jealous ? Did you guess before 

I loved so many things 1 — Still you the best : — 

Dearest, remember that I love you more, 
more a thousand times, than all the rest ! 



THE STORY OF THE FAITHFUL SOUL. 

FOUNDED ON AN OLD FRENCH LEGEND. 



^g^MifHE fettered Spirits linger 
In purgatorial pain, 
With penal fires effacing 

Their last faint earthly stain, 



Which Life's imperfect sorrow 
Had tried to cleanse in vain. 

Yet, on each feast of Mary 
Their sorrow finds release, 

For the Great Archangel Michael 
Comes down and bids it cease ; 

And the name of these brief respites 
Is called " Our Lady's Peace/' 



300 



TIIE FAITHFUL SOUL. 

Yet once — so runs the Legend — 
When the Archangel came, 

And all these holy spirits 
Rejoiced at Mary's name, 

One voice alone was wailing, 
Still wailing on the same. 

And though a great Tc Deum 
The happy echoes woke, 

This one discordant wailing 

Through the sweet voices broko : 

So when St. Michael questioned, 
Thus the poor spirit spoke : — 

" I am not cold or thankless, 
Although I still complain ; 

I prize Our Lady's blessing, 
Although it comes in vain 

To still my bitter anguish, 
Or quench my ceaseless pain. 

" On earth a heart that loved me 
Still lives and mourns me there, 

And the shadow of his anguish 
Is more than I can bear ; 

All the torment that I suffer 
Is the thought of his despair. 

w The evening of my bridal 
Death took my Life away ; 

Not all Love's passionate jjleading 
Could gain an hour's delay. 

And he I left has suffered 
A whole year since that day. 



THE FAITHFUL SOUL. 

•* If I could only see him, — 

If I could only go 
And speak one word of comfort 

And solace, — then I know- 
He would endure with patience, 

And strive against his woe." 

Thus the Archangel answered : — 
" Your time of pain is brief, 

And soon the peace of Heaven 
Will- give you full relief ; 

Yet if his earthly comfort 

So much outweighs your grief, 

" Then through a special mercy 

I offer you this grace, — 
You may seek him who mourns you, 

And look upon his face, 
And speak to him of comfort 

For one short minute's space. 

" But when that time is ended, 

Return here, and remain 
A thousand years in torment, 

A thousand years in pain : 
Thus dearly must you purchase 

The comfort he will gain." 



The Lime-trees , shade at evening 
Is spreading broad and wide ; 

Beneath their fragrant arches, 
Pace slowly, side by side, 

In low and tender converse, 
A Bridegroom and his Bride. 



301 



3 o/ TEE FAITHFUL SOUL. 

The night is calm and stilly, 
No other sound is there 

Except their happy voices : — 
What is that cold bleak air 

That passes through the Lime-trees- 
And stirs the Bridegroom's hair ? 

While one low cry of anguish, 
Like the last dying wail 

Of some dumb, hunted creature, 
Is borne upon the gale : — 

Why does the Bridegroom shudder 
And turn so deathly pale ? 



Near Purgatory's entrance 
The radiant Angels wait ; 

It was the great St. Michael 
Who closed that gloomy gate, 

When the poor wandering spirit 
Came back to meet her fate. 

" Pass on," thus spoke the Angel : 
" Heaven's joy is deep and vast ; 

Pass on, pass on, poor Spirit, 
For Heaven is yours at last ; 

In that one minute's anguish 

Xour thousand years have passed." 




A CONTRAST. 303 



A COXTKAST. 

AN you open that ebony Casket ? 
Look, this is the key : but stay, 
Those are only a few old letters 
That I keep, — to burn some day. 

Yes, that Locket is quaint and ancient ; 

But leave it, dear, with the ring, 
And give me the little Portrait 

Which hangs by a crimson string. 

I have never opened that Casket 

Since, many long years ago, 
It was sent me back in anger 

By one whom I used to know. 

But I want you to see the Portrait : 

I wonder if you can trace 
A look of that smiling creature 

Left now in my faded face. 

It was like me once ; but remember 

The weary, relentless years, 
And Life, with its tierce brief tempests, 

And its long, long rain of tears. 

Is it strange to call it my Portrait ! 

Nay, smile, dear, for well you may, 
To think of that radiant Vision 

And of what I am to-day. 



5 o4 A CONTRAST. 

With restless, jet confident longing, 
How those hlue eyes seem to gaze 

Into deep and exhaustless treasures, 
All lrid in the coming days. 

With that trust which leans on the Future, 
And counts on her promised store, 

Until she has taught us to tremble 
And hope, — but to trust no more. 

How that young, light heart would have pitied 
Me now — if her dreams had shown 

A quiet and weary woman 
With all her illusions flown. 

Yet I — who shall soon be resting, 
And have passed the hardest part — 

Can look back with a deeper pity 
On that young, unconscious heart. 

It is strange ; but Life's currents drift us 

So surely and swiftly on, 
That we scarcely notice the changes, 

And how many things are gone : 

And forget, while to-day absorbs us, 
How old mysteries are unsealed ; 

How the old, old ties are loosened, 
And the old, old wounds are healed. 

And we say that our Life is fleeting 
Like a story that Time has told ; 

But we fancy that we — we only — 
Are just what we were of old. 



THE BRIDE'S DREAM. 

So now and then it is wisdom 
To gaze, as I do to-day, 

At a half-forgotten relic 

Of a Time that is passed awaj. 

The very look of that Portrait, 
The perfume that seems to cling 

To those fragile and faded letters, 
And the Locket, and the Ring, 

If they only stirred in my spirit 
Forgotten pleasure and pain, — 

Why, memory is often bitter, 
And almost always in vain ; 

But the contrast of bygone hours 
Comes to rend a veil away, — 

And I marvel to see the stranger 
Who is living in me to-day. 



THE BRIDE'S DREAM. 



305 




HE stars are gleaming ; 
The maiden sleeps, — 
What is she dreaming? 
For see — she weeps. 
By her side is an Angel 

With folded wings ; 
Wliile the Maiden slumbers* 

The Angel sings : 
He sings of a Bridal, 
Of Love, of pain, 
20 



3 o6 THE BRIDES DREAM. 

Of a heart to be given, — 

And all in vain ; 
(See, her cheek is flushing, 

As if with pain ; ) 
He telleth of sorrow, 

Regrets and fears, 
And the few vain pleasures 

We buy with tears ; 
And the bitter lesson 

We learn from years. 

The stars are gleaming 

Upon her brow : 
What is she dreaming 

So calmly now * 
By her side is the Angel 

With folded wings ; 
She smiles in her slumber 

The while he sings. 
He sings of a Bridal, 

Of Love divine ; 
Of a heart to be laid 

On a sacred shrine ; 
Of a crown of glory, 

Where seraphs shine ; 
Of the deep, long rapture 

The chosen know 
Who forsake for Heaven 

Vain joys below, 
Who desire no pleasure, 

And fear no woe. 

The Bells are ringing, 
The sun shines clear, 



THE ANGEL'S BIDDING. 307 

The Choir is singing, 

The guests are here. 
Before the High Altar 

Behold the Bride ; 
And a mournful Angel 

Is by her side. 
She smiles, all content 

With her chosen lot, — 
(Is her last night's dreaming 

So soon forgot?) 
And oh, may the Angel 

Forsake her not ! 
For on her small hand 

There glitters plain 
The first sad link 

Of a life-long chain ; — 
And she needs his guiding 

Through paths of pain. 



THE ANGEL'S BIDDING. 

TOT a sound is heard in the Convent; 
The Vesper Chant is sung, 
The sick have all been tended, 
The poor nun's toils are ended 
Till the Matin bell has rung. 
All is still, save the Clock, that is ticking 
So loud in the frosty air, 
And the soft snow, falling as gently 
As an answer to a prayer. 

But an Angel whispers, " O Sister, 
You must rise from your bed to pray r 




jo8 TEE ANGEL'S BIDDING. 

In the silent, deserted chapel, 
You must kneel till the dawn of day ; 
For, far on the desolate moorland, 
So dreary, and bleak, and white," 
There is one, all alone and helpless, 
In peril of death to-night. 

* ' No sound on the moorland to guide him, 

No star in the murky air ; 
And he thinks of his home and his loved ones 

With the tenderness of despair ; 
He has wandered for hours in the snow-drift, 

And he strives to stand in vain, 
And so lies down to dream of his children, 
And never to rise again. 

Then kneel in the silent chapel 
Till the dawn of to-morrow's sun, 
And ask of the Lord you worship 
For the life of that desolate one ; 
And the smiling eyes of his children 
Will gladden his heart again, 
And the grateful tears of God's poor ones 
Will fall on your soul like rain ! — 

w Yet, leave him alone to perish, 

And the grace of your God implore, 
With all the strength of your spirit, 

For one who needs it more. 
Far away, in the gleaming city, 

Amid perfume, and song, and light, 
A soul that Jesus has ransomed 

Is in peril of sin to-night. 
The Tempter is close beside him, 

And his danger is all forgot, 



SPRING. 307 

And the fai -off voices of childhood 
Call aloud, but he hears them not ; 

He sayeth no prayer, and his mother — 
He thinks not of her to-day, 

And he will not look up to heaven, 
And his Angel is turning away. 

" Then pray for a soul in peril, 

A soul for which Jesus died ; 
Ask, by the cross that bore Him, 

And by her who stood beside ; 
And the Angels of God will thank yoo. 

And bend from their thrones of light; 
To tell you that heaven rejoices 

At the deed you have done to-night/ 



SPRING. 

ARK ! the hours are softly calX^f 
Bidding Spring arise, 
To listen to the rain-drops fallin| 
From the cloudy skies, 
To listen to Earth's weary voices, 

Louder every day, 
Bidding her no longer linger 

On her charmed way ; 
But hasten to her task of beauty 

Scarcely yet begun ; 
By the first bright day of Summer 

It should all be done. 
She has yet to loose the fountain 
From its iron chain ; 




310 



SPRING. 

And to make the barren mountain 

Green and bright again ; 
She must clear the snow that lingers 

Round the stalks away, 
And let the snowdrops' trembling whiteness 

See the light of day. 
She must watch, and warm, and cherish 

Every blade of green, 
Till the tender grass appearing 

From the earth is seen ; 
She must bring the golden crocus 

From her hidden store ; 
She must spread broad showers of daisie* 

Each day more and more. 
In each hedgerow she must hasten 

Cowslips sweet to set ; 
Primroses in rich profusion, 

With bright dew-drops wet, 
And under every leaf, in shadow 

Hide a violet ! 
Even- tree within the forest 

Must be decked anew ; 
And the tender buds of promise 

Should be peeping through, 
Folded deep, and almost hidden, 

Leaf by leaf beside, 
WTiat will make the Summer's glory, 

And the Autumn's pride. 
£he must weave the loveliest carpets, 

Checkered sun and shade, 
Every wood must have such pathways 

Laid in every glade ; 
6he must hang laburnum branches 

On each arched bough ; — 



EVENING HYMN. 311 

And the white and purple lilac 

Should be waving now ; 
She must breathe, and cold winds vanish 

At her breath away ; 
And then load the air around her 

With the scent of May ! 
Listen then, O Spring ! nor linger 

On thy charmed way ; 
Have pity on thy prisoned flowers 

Wearying for the day. 
Listen to the rain-drops falling 

From the cloudy skies ; 
Listen to the hours calling, 

Bidding thee arise. 



EVENING HYMN. 

£gR^4j[HE shadows of the evening hours 
Fall from the darkening sky ; 
Upon the fragrance of the flowers 
The dews of evening lie : 
Before thy throne, O Lord of heaven, 

We kneel at close of day ; 
Look on thy children from on high, 
And hear us while we pray. 

The sorrows of thy servants, Lord, 

O do not thou despise ; 
But let the incense of our prayers 

Before thy mercy rise ; 
The brightness of the coming night 

Upon the darkness rolls : 




3 i2 THE INNER CHAMBER. 

With hopes of future glory chase 
The shadows on our souls. 

Slowly the rays of daylight fade ; 

So fade within our heart 
The hopes in earthly love and joy, 

That one by one depart : 
Slowly the bright stars, one by one, 

Within the heavens shine ; — 
Give us, O Lord, fresh hopes in Heaven, 

And trust in things divine. 

Let peace, O Lord, thy peace, O God, 

Upon our souls descend ; 
From midnight fears and perils, thou 

Our trembling hearts defend ; 
Give us a respite from our toil, 

Calm and subdue our woes ; 
Through the long day we suffer, Lord, 

O give us now repose ! 



THE INNER CHAMBER. 

N the outer Court I was singing, 
Was singing the whole day long ; 
Prom the inner chamber were ringing 
Echoes repeating my song. 

And I sang till it grew immortal ; 

For that very song of mine, 
When re-echoed behind the Portal, 

Was filled with a life divine* 




THE INNER CHAMBER. 

W is the Chamber a silver round 

Of arches, whose magical art 
Drew in coils of musical sound, 

And cast them back on my heart ? 

Was there hidden within a lyre 

Which, as air breathed over its strings, 

Filled my song with a soul of fire, 
And sent back my words with wings ! 

Was some seraph imprisoned there, 

Whose Voice made my song complete, 

And whose lingering, soft despair 
Made the echo so faint and sweet ? 

Long I trembled and paused, — then parted 
The curtains with heavy fringe ; 

And, half fearing, yet eager-hearted, 
Turned the door on its golden hinge. 

Now I sing in the court once more, 

I sing and I weep all day, 
As I kneel by the close-shut door, 

For I know wliat the echoes say. 

Yet I sing not the song of old, 

Ere I knew whence the echo came, 

Ere I opened the door of gold ; 

But the music sounds just the same. 

Then take warning, and turn away ; 

Do not ask of that hidden thing,' 
Do not guess what the echoes say, 

Or the meaning of what I sing. 



3*3 



314 HEARTS. 

HEAETS. 
L 




TRINKET made like a Heart, dear, 

Of red gold, bright and fine 
Was given to me for a keepsake, 
Given to me for mine. 



And another heart, warm and tender, 
As true as a heart could be ; 

And every throb that stirred it 
Was always and all for me. 

Sailing over the waters, 
Watching the far blue land, 

I dropped my golden heart, dear, 
Dropped it out of my hand ! 

It lies in the cold, blue waters, 
Fathoms and fathoms deep, 

The golden heart which I promised, 
Promised to prize and keep. 

Gazing at Life's bright visions, 
So false, and fair, and new, 

I forgot the other heart, dear, 
Eorgot it and lost it too! 

I might seek that heart forever, 
I might seek and seek in vain ; — 

And for one short, careless hour, 
I pay with a life of pain 



HEARTS. 

n. 



3*5 




i HE Heart ? — Yes, I wore it 
As sign and as token 
Of a love that once gave it, 
A vow that was spoken ; 
But a love, and a vow, and a heart 
Can be broken. 

The Love ? — Life and Death 

Are crushed into a day, 
So what wonder that Love 

Should as soon pass away, — 
What wonder I saw it 

Eade, fail, and decay ? 

The Vow ? — why what was it ? 

It snapped like a thread ; 
Who cares for the corpse 

When the spirit is fled ? 
Then I said, "Let the Dead ris« 

And bury its dead, 

u While the true, living future 
Grows pure, wise, and strong." 

So I cast the gold heart 
I had worn for so long 

In the Lake, and bound on it 
A Stone — and a Wrong ! 






3 i6 



TWO LOVES. 




in. 

OOK, this little golden Hwrt 
Was a true-love shrine 
Eor a tress of hair ; I held th«*m, 
Heart and tress, as mine, 
Like the Love which gave the token : — 
See, to-day the Heart is broken ! 

Broken is the golden heart, 

Lost the tress of hair ; 
Ah, the shrine is empty, vacant, 

Desolate and bare ! 
So the token should depart, 
When Love dies within the heart. 

Past and deep the river floweth, 

Floweth to the west ; 
I will cast the golden trinket 

In its cold dark breast : — 
Plow, O river, deep and fast. 
Over all the buried past ! 



TWO LOYES. 

EEP within my heart of hearts, dear; 
Bound with all its strings, 
Two Loves are together reigning, 
Both ivre crowned like kings ■ 
While my life, still nncomplaining, 
Rests beneath their wings. 




A 



TWO LOVES. 317 

So they both will rule my heart, dear, 

Till it cease to beat ; 
No sway can be deeper, stronger, 

Truer, more complete ; 
Growing, as it lasts the longer. 

Sweeter, and more sweet. 

One all life and time transfigures ; 

Piercing through and through 
Meaner things with magic splendor, 

Old, yet ever new : 
This — so strong and yet so tender — 

Is . . . my Love for you. 

Should it fail, — forgive my doubting 

In this world of pain, — 
Yet my other Love would ever 

Steadfastly remain ; 
And I know that I could never 

Turn to that in vain. 

Though its radiance may be fainter, 

Yet its task is wide ; 
For it lives to comfort sorrows, 

Strengthen, calm, and guide, 
And from Trust and Honor borrows 

All its peace and pride. 

Will you blame my dreaming, even 

If the first were flown 1 
Ah, I would not live without it, 

It is all your own : 
And the other — can you doubt it ? —- 

Yours, and yours alone. 







2i8 A WOMAN'S LAST WORD. 



A WOMAN'S LAST WORD. 

ELL — the links are broken, 
All is past ; 
This farewell, when spoken. 
Is the last. 
I have tried and striven 

All in vain ; 
Such bonds must be riven, 

Spite of pain, 
And never, never, never 
Knit again. 

So I tell you plainly, 

It must be : 
I shall try, not vainly, 

To be free ; 
Truer, happier chances 

Wait me yet, 
While you, through fresh fanciea. 

Can forget ; — 
And life has nobler uses 

Than Regret 

All past words retracing, 

One by one, 
Does not help effacing 

What is done. 
Let it be. O, stronger 

Links can break ! 
Had we dreamed still longer 

We could wake, — 



PAST AND PRESENT. 319 

Yet let us part in kindness 
For Love's sake. 

Bitterness and sorrow 

Will at last, 
In some bright to-morrow, 

Heal their past ; 
But future hearts will never 

Be as true 
As mine was — is ever, 

Dear, for you 

. . Then must we part, when loving 

As we do 1 



PAST AND PRESENT. 




INGER," I cried, "O radiant Time! 
thy power 
Has nothing more to give ; life is com- 
plete : 

Let but the perfect Present, hour by hour, 
Itself remember and itself repeat. 

" And Love, — the future can but mar its splendor, 
Change can but dim the glory of its youth ; 
Time has no star more faithful or more tender 
To crown its constancy or light its truth." 

But Time passed on in spite of prayer or pleading, 
Through storm and peril ; but that life might gain 



3 2o FOR THE FUTURE. 

A Peace through strife all other peace exceeding, 
Fresh joy from sorrow, and new hope from pain. 

And since Love lived when all save Love was dying, 
And, passed through fire, grew stronger than be- 
fore : — 
Dear, you know why, in double faith relying, 
I prize the Past much, but the Present more. 



FOR THE FUTURE. 

WOXDER did you ever count 
The value of one human fate ; 
Or sum the infinite amount 
Of one heart's treasures, and the weight 
Of Life's one venture, and the whole concentrate pur- 
pose of a soul. 

And if you ever paused to think 
That all this in your hands I laid 
"Without a fear : — did you not shrink 
From such a burden ! half afraid, 
Half wishing that you could divide the risk, or cast 
it all aside. 

While Love has daily perils, such 
As none foresee and none control ; 
And hearts are strung so that one touch, 
Careless or rough, may jar the whole, 
You well might feel afraid to reign with absolute 
power of joy and pain. 




FOR THE FUTURE. 32* 

You well might fear — if Love's sole claim 
Were to be happy : but true Love 
Takes joy as solace, not as aim, 
And looks beyond, and looks above ; 
And sometimes through the bitterest strife first learns 
to live her highest life. 

Earth forges joy into a chain 
Till fettered Love forgets its strength, 
Its purpose, and its end ; — but Pain 
Restores its heritage at length, 
And bids Love rise again and be eternal, mighty, 
pure, and free. 

If then your future life should need 
A strength my Love can only gain 
Through suffering, or my heart be freed 
Only by sorrow from some stain, 
Then you shall give, and I will take, this Crown 
of fire for Love's dear sake. 

Sept 8th, i860. 




21 



X 



A CHAPLET OF VERSES* 



PUBLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF 

THE PROVIDENCE ROW NIGHT REFUG] 



HOMELESS WOMEN AND CHILDREN. 




HERE is scarcely any charitable insti- 
tution which should excite such uni- 
versal, such unhesitating sympathy, as 3 
Night Refuge for the Homeless Poor. 
A shelter through the bleak winter nights, leave 
to rest in some poor shed instead of wandering 
through the pitiless streets, is a boon we could 
hardly deny to a starving dog. And yet we have 
all known that in this country, in this town, many 
of our miserable fellow-creatures were pacing the 
streets through the long weary nights, without a 
roof to shelter them, without food to eat, with their 
poor rags soaked in rain, and only the bitter winds 
of Heaven for companions ; women and children 
utterly forlorn and helpless, cither wandering about 
all night, or crouching under a miserable archway, 
or, worst of all, seeking in dcatli or sin the refuge 
denied them elsewhere. It is a marvel that we 
could sleep in peace in our warm, comfortable 
homes with this horror at our very door. 

But at last some efforts were made to efface this 
stain upon our country, public sympathy was ar> 
pealed to, and a few « Refuges ' were opened, to 
shelter our homeless poor through the winter nights- 



326 

In the Autumn of 1860 there was no Catholic 
Refuge in the kingdom ; and excellent as were the 
Protestant Refuges, their resources were quite in- 
adequate to meet the claims upon them. 

In this country, as we all know, the very poorest 
nnd most destitute are in many cases Catholics; 
and doubtless our Priests, to whom no form of sin 
or sorrow is strange, must see in a special manner, 
and in innumerable results, the sufferings, dangers, 
and temptations of the homeless. The Rev. Dr. 
Gilbert therefore resolved to open a Catholic Night 
Refuge in his parish, and to his zealous charity and 
unwearied efforts are due the foundation and success 
of the Providence Row Night Refuge for 
Homeless Women and Children ; the first 
Catholic Refuge in England or Ireland, and still 
the only one in England. 

The Sisters of Mercy had long been aiding their 
pastors in the schools of the parish, and when this 
new opening for their charity was suggested to 
them, they unhesitatingly accepted a task, worthy 
indeed of the holy name they bear. They were 
seeking for some house more suitable for a Con- 
vent than the one they had hitherto occupied in 
Broad Street ; and when Dr. Gilbert saw the large 
stable at the back of 14 Finsbury Square, he felt 
that here was a suitable place for his long-cherished 
plan of a Night Refuge. It was separated from the 
house by a yard, and opened on a narrow street at 
the back, already called, with a happy appropriate- 
ness, Providence Row. To Finsbury Square there- 
fore the community removed, and it was not long 
before the stable was fitted up with wooden beds 
and benches, the few preparations were completed, 



327 

and on the 7th of October, 1860, the Refuge wai 
opened. At first there were but fourteen beds, but 
contributions flowed in from Protestants as well as 
Catholics, and in February, 1861, thirty-one more 
beds were added, making in all forty-five. But as 
many of the poor women have children with them, 
rarely less than sixty persons are each night ad- 
mitted. Up to the present time, fourteen thousand 
seven hundred and eighty-five nights' lodgings have 
been given, with the same number of suppers and 
breakfasts. 

From six to eight are the hours of admission; 
but this is indeed a needless rule, for a crowd of 
ragged women, with pale, weary children clinging 
to them, are waiting patiently long before the doors 
are opened, and the place is filled at once. 

Means for washing are given them, they rest 
themselves in warmth, light, and peace, and at 
eight o'clock each person receives half a pound of 
bread and a large basin of excellent gruel. Night 
prayers are said by one of the Sisters, and then the 
poor wanderers lie down in their rude but clean and 
comfortable beds. They have the same meal in the 
morning. 

Those who come on Saturday evening remain 
till Monday, receiving on Sunday, besides the usual 
breakfast and supper, an extra half-pound of bread, 
and a good supply of meat soup. There is no dis- 
tinction of creed; Protestants and Catholics are 
alike admitted. There are but two conditions of 
admittance, — that the applicants be homeless and 
of good character. This is the only Refuge which 
makes character a condition ; and it is found that, 
in spite of all precautions, much harm arises m the 



3 28 
other Refuges to the young and innocent, from tho 
bad language and evil example of the degraded 
class with whom they are brought in contact. 

Each evening (and on Sundays more fully) 
simple instructions on the Catechism are given by 
one of the Sisters ; but this the Protestants do not 
attend ; they frequently ask leave to be present, but 
it is not permitted, (without the special permission 
of one of the clergy,) as the instructions on the 
practice of our faith would be to them compara- 
tively useless and unmeaning. 

The temporary shelter and food which is given 
in Providence Row is not the only, perhaps often 
not the greatest, benefit bestowed upon the poor 
forlorn inmates. They find advice, sympathy, and 
help from the kind Sisters ; and the very telling 
their troubles to one who is there to serve and tend 
them, not for any earthly reward, but from Chris- 
tian love and pity, must be a rest to their weary 
hearts, a comfort in their sore want and distress. 
It is touching to see their eager desire to be allowed 
to help the Sister in the cleaning, cooking, &c., 
and the half-ashamed thankfulness with winch they 
watch her busied in their service. 

One of the Nuns sleeps every night in the Ref- 
uge, and no unruly sound, no whisper of mur- 
mur or disrespect, ever rises against her gentle 
sway. Nay, even more, when she has the sad task 
of selecting among the wailing crowd the number 
who may enter, choosing generally those with chil- 
dren and those who have not applied before, the 
rest submit without a murmur. Though the little 
ones are hardly counted, but creep in by their moth- 
ers' sides, there are still many — sometimes thirty 



3 2 9 

or forty nightly — turned away for want of space. 
Th^y have had a glimpse of warmth and light, and 
then it is the cruel office of the kind Xun to bar the 
door against them ; but no angry word, no remon- 
strance, meetc her sorrowful refusal; they turn 
once more to their weary wanderings in the dark, 
bleak streets. And so will many have to do, night 
after night, until the Refuge is enlarged. The 
present space will hold no more beds, but to build 
an additional dormitory is the earnest desire and 
intention of Dr. Gilbert. 

No salaries are received by any ivho have charge of 
the Refuge. Among the many causes for gratitude 
we have to our good Religious, surely it is not one 
of the least, that what we can spare in the cause of 
charity goes solely and directly to its object ; the 
more difficult and more perfect share of the good 
work being taken by them out of love to God and 
his poor. 

The Refuge is open from the month of October 
to April. 

It is placed under the special patronage of Our 
Blessed Lady, and Blessed Benedict Labrc'. 

May the Mother who wandered homeless through 
inhospitable Bethlehem, and the Saint who was a 
beggar and an outcast upon the face of the earth, 
watch over this Refuge for the poor and desolate, 
and obtain from the charity of the faithful die aid 
which it so sorely needs. 

I may add, that donations for the Refuge will be 
thankfully received by the Rev. Dr. Gilbert, 22 
Fiusbury Circus, or by the Rev. Mother, at the 
Convent, 14 Finsbury Square, E. C. 

We all meditate long and often on the manj 



33° 

kinds of sufferings borne for us by our Blessed 
Redeemer ; but perhaps, if we consider a moment, 
we shall most of us confess, that the one we think 
of least often, the one we compassionate least of 
all, is the only one of which he deigned to tell us 
himself, and for which he himself appealed to 
our pity in the Divine complaint, — " The foxes 
have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but 
the Son of Man has not where to lay his head/* 



A. A. P. 



May, 1S62. 




i 



THE ARMY OF THE LORD. 




fight the battle of the Cross, Christ's 
chosen ones are sent — 
Good soldiers and great "victors — a 
noble armament. 
They use no earthly weapon, they know not spear 

or sword, 
Yet right and true and valiant is the army of the 
Lord. 



Fear them, ye mighty ones of earth ; fear them, 

ye demon foes ; 
Slay them and think to conquer, but the ranks will 

always close : 
In vain do Earth and Hell unite their power and 

skill to try, 
They fight better for their wounds, and they coi*» 

quer when they die. 



33* THE ARMY OF THE LORD. 

in. 
The soul of every sinner is the victory they would 

gain; 
They would bind each rebel heart in their Master's 

golden chain : 
Faith is the shield they carry, and the two-edged 

sword they bear 
Is God's strongest, mightiest weapon, and they call 

it Love and Prayer. 

IV. 

Where the savage hordes are dwelling by the 

Ganges' sacred tide, 
Through the trackless Indian forests, St. Francis is 

their guide ; 
Where crime and sin are raging, to conquer they 

are gone ; — 
They do conquer as they go, for St. Philip leads 

them on. 

v. 
They are come where all are kneeling at the shrines 

of wealth and pride, 
And an old and martyred Bishop is their comrade 

and their guide : 
To tell the toil-worn negro of freedom and repose, 
O'er the vast Atlantic's bosom they are called by 

sweet St. Rose. 

VI. 

They are gone where Love is frozen, and Faith 

grown calm and cold, 
Where the world is all triumphant, and the sheep 

have, left the fold, 



THE ARMY OF THE LORD. 333 

Where His children scorn His blessings, and His 

sacred Shrines despise, — 
And the beacon of the warriors is the light in 

Mary's eyes. 

VII. 

The bugle for their battle is the matin bel! for 

prayer ; 
And for their noble standard Christ's holy Cross 

they bear ; 
His sacred name their war-cry, 'tis in vain what 

ye can do, 
They must conquer, for your Angels are leaguing 

with them too. 

VIII. 

Would you know, O World, these warriors ? Go 

where the poor, the old, 
Ask for pardon and for heaven, and you offer food 

and gold ; 
With healing and with comfort, with words of peace 

and prayer, 
Bearing His greatest gift to man — Christ's chosen 

priests are there. 



Where sin and crime are dwelling, hid from the 

light of day, 
And life and hope are fading at Death's cold touch 

away, 
Where dying eyes in horror see the long-forgotten 

past, 
\!Jhrist's servants claim the sinner, and gain his soul 

at last. 



334 TB£ ARMY OF THE LORD. 

x. 

Where the rich and proud and mighty God's mes- 
sage would defy, 

In warning and reproof His anointed ones stand by : 

Bright are the crowns of glory God keepeth for 
His own, 

Their life one sigh for heaven, and their aim Hig 
will alone. 

XI. 

And see sweet Mercy's sister, where the poor and 

wretched dwell, 
In gentle accents telling of Him she loves so well ; 
Training young hearts to serve their Lord, and 

place their hope in Heaven, 
Bidding her erring sisters love much and be forgiven. 

XII. 

And where in cloistered silence dim the Brides of 

Jesus dwell, 
Where purest incense rises up from every lowly cell. 
They plead not vainly, — they have chosen and 

gained the better part, 
And given their gentle life away to Him who has 

their heart. 



And some there are among us — the path which 

they have trod 
Of sin and pain and anguish has led at last to God : 
They plead, and Christ will hear them, that the 

poor slaves who pine 
In the bleak dungeon they have left, may see His 

truth divine. 



THE ARMY OF THE LORD. 



335 



O, who can tell how many hearts are altars to 

His praise, 
From which the silent prayer ascends through 

patient nights and days : 
The sacrifice is ottered still in secret and alone, 
O World, ye do not know them, but He can help 

His own. 

xv. 

They are with us, His true soldiers, they come in 

power and might ; 
Glorious the crown which they shall gain after the 

heavenly fight ; 
And you, perchance, who scoff, may yet their rest 

and glory share, 
As the rich spoil of their battle and the captives of 

their prayer. 

XYI. 

O, who shall tell the wonder of that great day of 

rest, 
When even in this place of strife His soldiers are so 

blest : 
O World, O Earth, why strive ye ? join the low 

chant they sing, — 
" O Grave, where is thy victory ! O Death, where 

is thy sting 1" 




t 3 6 THE STAR OF TEE SEA. 



THE STAF <F THE SEA. 

OW r^ny a mighty ship 

x'he stormy waves overwhelm ; 
Yet our frail bark floats on, 
Our Angel holds the helm : 
Dark storms are gathering round, 

And dangerous winds arise, 
Tet see ! one trembling star 
Is shining in the skies ; — 
And we are safe who trust in thee, 
Star of the Sea ! 

A long and weary voyage 

Have we to reach our home, 
And dark and sunken rocks 

Are hid in silver foam ; 
Each moment we may sink, 

But steadily we sail, 
Our winged Pilot smiles, 

And says we shall not fail : — • 
And so we kneel and call on thee, 
Star of the Sea! 

Yes, for those shining rays 

Shall beam upon the main, 
Shall guide us safely on, 

Through fear and doubt and pain : 
And see — the stormy wind 

Our little sail has caught, 
The tempest others fear 

Shall drive us into port : — 



THE SACRED HEART. 337 

Through Life's dark voyage we trust in thee, 
Star of the Sea ! 

The shore now looms in sight, 

The far-off golden strand, 
Yet many a freight is wrecked 

And lost in sight of land ; 
Then guide us safely home, 

Through that last hour of strife, 
And welcome us to land, 

From the long voyage of life : — 
In death and life we call on thee, 
Star of the Sea ! 



THE SACRED HEART. 

HAT would st thou have, O soul, 
Thou weary soul \ 
Lo ! I have sought for rest 
On the Earth's heaving breast, 
From pole to pole. 
Sleep — I have been with her, 

But she gave dreams ; 
Death — nay, the rest he gives 

Rest only seems. 
Fair nature knows it not — 
The grass is growing ; 
The blue air knows it not — 
The winds are blowing : 
Not in the changing sky, 
The stormy sea, 
22 




338 THE SACRED HEART. 

Yet somewhere in God's wide world 

Rest there must be. 
Within thy Saviour's Heart 

Place all thy care, 
And learn, O weary soul, 

Thy Rest is there. 

What wouldst thou, trembling soul ? 

Strength for the strife, — 
Strength for this fiery war 

That we call Life. 
Fears gather thickly round ; 

Shadowy foes, 
Like unto armed men, 

Around me close. 
What am I, frail and poor, 

When griefs arise ? 
No help from the weak earth, 

Or the cold skies. 
Lo ! I can find no guards, 

No weapons borrow ; 
Shrinking, alone I stand, 

With mighty sorrow. 
Courage, thou trembling soul, 

Grief thou must bear, 
Yet thou canst find a strength 

Will match despair ; 
Within thy Saviour's Heart- 
Seek for it there. 

What wouldst thou have, sad soul, 
Oppressed with grief ? — 

Comfort : I seek in vain. 
Nor find relief. 



THE SACRED HEART. 

Nature, all pitiless, 

Smiles on my pain ; 
I ask my fellow-men, 

They give disdain. 
I asked the babbling streams, 

But they flowed on ; 
I. asked the wise and good, 

But they gave none. 
Though I have asked the stars, 

Coldly they shine. 
They are too bright to know 

Grief such as mine. 
I asked for comfort still, 

And I found tears, 
And I have sought in vain 

Long, weary years. 
Listen, thou mournful soul, 

Thy pain shall cease ; 
Deep in His sacred Heart 

Dwells joy and peace. 

Yes, in that Heart divine 

The Angels bright 
Find, through eternal years, 

Still new delight. 
From thence his constancy 

The martyr drew, 
And there the virgin band 

Their refuge knew. 
There, racked by pain without, 

And dread within, 
How many souls have found 

Heaven's bliss begin. 
Then leave thy vain attempts 

To seek for peace; 



339 



34 o THE NAMES OF OUR LADY. 

The world can never give 

One soul release : 
But in thy Saviour's Heart 

Securely dwell, 
No pain can harm thee, hid 

In that sweet cell. 
Then fly, O coward soul, 

Delay no more : 
What words can speak the joy 

For thee in store 1 
What smiles of earth can tell 

Of peace like thine ? 
Silence and tears are best 

For things divine. 



THE NAMES OF OUR LADY. 




HROUGH the wide world thy children 
raise 
Their prayers, and still we see 
Calm are the nights and bright the days 
Of those who trust in thee. 



Around thy starry crown are wreathed 

So many names divine : 
Which is the dearest to my heart, 

And the most worthy thine 1 

Star of the Sea: we kneel and pray 
When tempests raise their voice ; 

Star of the Sea ! the haven reached^ 
We call thee and rejoice. 



THE NAMES OF OUR LADY. 341 

Help of the Christian : in our need 

Thy mighty aid we claim; 
If we are faint and weary, then 

We trust in that dear name. 

Our Lady of the Rosary : 

What name can be so sweet 
As what we call thee when we place 

Our chaplets at thy feet. 

Bright Queen of Heaven : when we are sad, 

Best solace of our pains ; — 
It tells us, though on earth we toil, 

Our Mother lives and reigns. 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel: thus 
Sometimes thy name is known; 

It tells us of the badge we wear, 
To live or die thine own. 

Our Lady dear of Victories : 

We see our faith oppressed, 
And, praying for our erring land, 

We love that name the best. 

Refuge of Sinners : many a soul, 

By guilt cast down, and sin, 
Has learned through this dear name of thine 

Pardon and peace to win. 

Health of the Sick : when anxious hearts 

Watch by the sufferer's bed, 
On this sweet name of thine they lean. 

Consoled and comforted. 



342 THE NAMES OF OUR LADY. 

Mother of Sorrows : many a heart 

Half-broken by despair 
Has laid its burden by the cross, 

And found a mother there. 

Queen of all Saints: the Church appeals 

For her loved dead to thee ; 
She knows they wait in patient pain 

A bright eternity. 

Fair Queen of Tlrgins : thy pure band, 

The lilies round thy thrune, 
Love the dear title which they bear 

Most that it is thine own. 

True Queen of Martyrs : if we shrink 
From want, or pain, or woe, 

We think of the sharp sword that pierced 
Thy heart, and call thee so. 

Mary: the dearest name of all, 

The holiest and the best ; 
The first low word that Jesus lisped 

Laid on His mother's breast. 

Mary, the name that Gabriel spoke, 
The name that conquers hell ; 

Mary, the name that through high heaven 
The angels love so well. 

Mary, — our comfort and our hope, — 

O may that word be given 
To be the last we sigh on earth, — 

The first we breathe in heaven. 




A CHAPLET OF FLOWERS. 



A CHAPLET OF FLOWERS. 



EAR, set the casement open, 
The evening breezes blow 
Sweet perfumes from the flowers 
I cannot see below. 



I can but catch the waving 
Of chestnut boughs that pass, 

Their shadow must have covered 
The sun-dial on the grass. 

So go and bring the flowers 
I love best to my room, 

My failing strength no longer 
Can bear me where they bloom. 

You know I used to love them, 
But ah ! they come too late, — 

For see, my hands are trembling 
Beneath their dewy weight. 

So I will watch you weaving 

A chaplet for me, dear, 
Of all my favorite flowers, 

As I could do last year. 

First, take those crimson roses, — 
How red their petals glow ! 

Red as the blood of Jesus, 
Which heals our sin and woe 



343 



344 ^ CHAPLET OF FLO WEES, 

See in each heart of crimson 
A deeper crimson shine : 

So in the foldings of our hearts 
Should glow a love divine. 

Next place those tender violets, 
Look how they still regret 

The cell where they were hidden,— 
The tears are on them yet. 

How many souls — His loved ones — 

Dwell lonely and apart, 
Hiding from all but One above 

The fragrance of their heart. 

Then take that virgin lily, 

How holily she stands ! 
You know the gentle angels 

Bear lilies in their hands. 

Yet crowned with purer radiance 
A deeper love they claim, 

Because their queen-like whiteness 
Is linked with Mary's name. 

And now this spray of ivy : 
You know its gradual clasp 

Uproots strong trees, and towers 
Fall crumbling in its grasp. 

So God's dear grace around us 
With secret patience clings, 

And slow, sure power, that loosens 
Strong holds on human things. 



A CUAPLET OF FLOWERS. 345 

Then heliotrope, that turneth 

Towards her lord the sun, — 
Would that our thoughts as fondly 

Sought our beloved One. 

Nay, if that branch be fading, 

Cast not one blossom by, 
Its little task is ended 

And it does well to die. 

And let some field flowers even 

Be wreathed among the rest, 
I think the infant Jesus 

"Would love such ones the best 

These flowers are all too brilliant, 
So place calm heart's-ease there, 

God's last and sacred treasure 
For all who wait and bear. 

Then lemon-leaves, whose sweetness 

Grows sweeter than before 
When bruised, and crushed, and broken, 

— Hearts need that lesson more. 

Yet stay, — one crowning glory, 

All His, and yet all ours ; 
The dearest, tenderest thought of all, 

Is still the Passion-flower's. 

So take it now, — nay, heed not 

My tears that on it fall ; 
I thank Him for the flowers, 

As I can do for all. 



34 6 KYRIE ELEISON. 

And place it on the altar, 

Where oft, in days long flown, 

I knelt by His dear Mother, 
And knew she was my own. 

The bells ring out her praises, 
The evening shades grow dim ; 

Go there and say a prayer for me, 
And sing Our Lady's hymn. 

While I lie here, and ask her help 
In that last, longed-for day — 

When the Beloved of my heart 
Will call my soul away. 



KYRIE ELEISON. 

N joy, in pain, in sorrow, 
Father, Thy hand we see ; 
But some among Thy children 
Deny this faith and Thee. 
They will not ask Thy mercy, 

But we kneel for them in prayer ; 
Are they not still Thy children ? 

Pity, O God ! and spare. 
Thy peace, O Lord, has never 

On their desolate pathway shone^ 
Darkness is all around them : 
Kyrie Eleison ! 

For them the starry heavens 
No hymn of worship raise ; 




K7RIE ELEISON: 

Jot them, earth's innocent flowers 

Breathe not Thy silent praise ; 
Xn heaven they know no Saviour, 

No Father, and no Friend, 
£jid life is all they hope for, 

And death they call the end ; 
Their eyes, Lord ! are blinded 

To the glories of the sun, 
To the shining of the sea-star — » 

Kyrie Eleison ! 

By the love Thy saints have shown Thee, 

And the sorrows they have bornt^ 
Leave not these erring creatures 

To wander thus forlorn. 
By Thy tender name of Saviour, -— 

The name they have denied ; 
By Thy bitter death and passion, 

And the Cross which they deride ; 
By the anguish Thou hast suffered, 

And the glory Thou hast won ; 
By Thy love and by Thy pity — 

Christe Eleison ! 

Pray for them, glorious seraphs, 

And ye, bright angel band, 
Who chant His praises ever, 

And in His presence stand ; 
And thou, O gentle Mother, 

Queen of the starry sky ; 
Ye Saints whose toils are over, 

Join your voices to our cry, — 
In Thy terror or Thy mercy, 

Call them ere life is done, 
For His sake who died to save their^ 

Kyrie Eleison ! 



347 




34 8 THE ANNUNCIATION. 



THE ANNUNCIATION. 



OW pure, and frail, and white, 
The snowdrops shine ! 
Gather a garland bright 
For Mary's shrine. 

For, born of winter snows, 

These fragile flowers 
Are gifts to our fair Queen 

From Spring's first hours. 

For on this blessed day 

She knelt at prayer ; 
When, lo ! before her shone 

An Angel fair. 

" Hail, Mary ! " thus he cried, 

With reverent fear : 
She, with sweet wondering eyes, 

Marvelled to hear. 

Be still, ye clouds of Heaven I 

Be silent, Earth ! 
And hear an Angel tell 

Of Jesus' birth, 

While she, whom Gabriel hails 

As full of grace, 
Listens with humble faith 

In her sweet face. 



THE ANNUNCIATION. 349 

Be still, Pride, War, and Pomp, 

Vain Hopes, vain Fears, 
For now an Angel speaks, 

And Mary hears. 

« Hail, Mary ! " lo, it rings 

Through ages on ; 
" Hail, Mary ! " it shall sound, 

Till Time is done. 

« Hail, Mary ! " infant lips 

Lisp it to-day ; 
" Hail, Mary ! " with faint smile 

The dying say. 

" Hail, Mary ! " many a heart 

Broken with grief, 
In that angelic prayer 
Has found relief. 

And many a half-lost soul, 

When turned at bay, 
With those triumphant words 

Has won the day. 

" Hail, Mary, Queen of Heaver I • 

Let us repeat, 
And place our snowdrop wreath 

Here at her feet. 



35° 



AN APPEAL. 



AN APPEAL. 



" THE IRISH CHURCH MISSION FOR CONVERTING THE CATHOLICS-* 




PARE her, cruel England ! 
Thy Sister lieth low ; 
Chained and oppressed she lieth, 
Spare her that cruel blow. 
We ask not for the freedom 

Heaven has vouchsafed to thee, 
Nor bid thee share with Ireland 

The empire of the sea ; 
Her children ask no shelter, — 
Leave them the stormy sky ; 
They ask not for thy harvests, 
For they know how to die : 
Deny them, if it please thee, 

A grave beneath the sod : — 
But we do cry, O England, 

Leave them their faith in God ! 



Take, if thou wilt, the earnings 

Of the poor peasant's toil, 
Take all the scanty produce 

That grows on Irish soil, 
To pay the alien preachers 

Whom Ireland will not hear, 
To pay the scoffers at a Creed 

Which Irish hearts hold dear: 
BHt leave them, cruel England, 

The gift their God has given, 



AN APPEAL. 

Leave them their ancient worship, 
Leave them their faith in Heaven. 

Yon come and offer Learning, — 

A mighty gift, 't is true ; 
Perchance the greatest blessing 

That now is known to you. 
But not to see the wonders 

Sages of old beheld 
Can they peril a priceless treasure, 

The Faith their Fathers held ; 
For in learning and in science 

They may forget to pray, — 
God will not ask for knowledge 

On the great judgment day. 

When, in their wretched cabins, 

Racked by the fever pain, 
And the weak cries of their children 

Who ask for food in vain ; 
When starving, naked, helpless, 

From the shed that keeps them warm 
Man has driven them forth to perish, 

In a less cruel storm ; — 
Then, then, we plead for mercy, 

Then, Sister, hear our cry ! 
For all we ask, England, 

Is — leave them there to die ! 
Cursed is the food and raiment 

For which a soul is sold ; 
Tempt not another Judas 

To barter God for gold. 
You offer food and shelter 

If they their faith deny : — 



35* 



35 2 AN APPEAL. 

What do you gain, O England, 

By such a shallow lie ! 

We will not judge the tempted,— 

May God blot out their shame, — 
He sees the misery round them, 

He knows man's feeble frame ; 
His pity still may save them, 

In His strength they must trust 
Who calls us all His children, 

Yet knows we are but dust. 

Then leave them the kind tending 

Which helped their childish years ; 
Leave them the gracious comfort 

Which dries the mourner's tears ; 
Leave them to that great mother 

In whose bosom they were born ; 
Leave them the holy mysteries 

That comfort the forlorn : 
And, amid all their trials, 

Let the Great Gift abide, 
Which you, prosperous England, 

Have dared to cast aside. 
Leave them the pitying Angels, 

And Mary's gentle aid, 
For which earth's dearest treasures 

Were not too dearly paid. 
Take back your bribes, then, England, 

Your gold is black and dim, 
And if God sends plague and famine, 

They can die and go to Him. 




THE JUBILEE OF 1850. 353 



THE JUBILEE OF 1850. 

[The titles of the " Island of Saints " and the " Dowe? 
tf our Lady," though more frequently applied to Ireland, 
Wre often given to England in former times.] 

LESS God, ye happy Lands, 
For your more favored lot : 
Our England dwells apart, 
Yet O forget her not 
While, with united joy, 

This day you all adore, 
Remember what she was, 

Though her voice is heard no mors. 
Pray for our desolate land, 
Left in her pride and power : — 
She was the Isle of Saints, 
She was Our Lady's Dower. 

Look on her ruined Altars ; 

He dwelleth there no mere : 
Think what her empty churches 

Have been in times of yore ; 
She knows the names no longer 

Of her own sainted dead, 
Denies the faith they held, 

And the cause for which they bled. 
Then pray for our desolate land, 
Left in her pride and power : — 
Sue was the Isle of Saints, 
She was Our Lady's Dower ! 
23 



354 TnE JUBILEE OF 1850. 

Pray that her vast Cathedrals, 

Deserted, empty, bare, 
May once more echo accents 

Of Love, and Faith, and Prayer ; 
That the holy sign may bless us, 
On wood, and field, and plain, 
And Jesus, Mary, Joseph, 
May dwell with us again. 

Pray, ye more faithful nations, 
In this most happy hour : — 
She was the Isle of Saints, 
She was Our Lady's Dower. 

Beg of our Lord to give her 

The gift she cast aside, 
And in His mercy pardon 

Her faithlessness and pride : 
Pray to her Saints, who worship 
Before God's mercy Throne ; 
Look where our Queen is dwelliag, 
Ask her to claim her own, 

To give her the proud titles 
Lost in an evil hour : — 
She was the Isle of Saints, 
8he was Our Lady's Dow» 



CHRISTMAS FLOWERS. 355 

CHRISTMAS FLOWERS. 




i HE Earth is so bleak and deserted, 
So cold the winds blow, 
That no bud or no blossom will ventui* 
To peep from below ; 
But, longing for spring-time, they nestle 
Deep under the snow. 

0, in May how we honored Our Lady, 

Her own month of flowers ! 
How happy we were with our garlands 

Through all the spring hours ! 
All her shrines, in the church or the way-side, 

Were made into bowers. 

And in August — her glorious Assumption ; 

What feast was so bright ! 
What clusters of virginal lilies, 

So pure and so white ! 
Why, the incense could scarce overpower 

Their perfume that night. 

And through her dear feasts of October 

The roses bloomed still ; 
Our baskets were laden with flowers, 

Her vases to fill : 
Oleanders, geraniums, and myrtles, 

We chose at our will. 

And we know when the Purification, 
Her first feast, comes round, 



356 CHRISTMAS FLOWERS. 

The early spring flowers, to greet it, 

Just opening are found ; 
And pure, white, and spotless, the snowdrop 

Will pierce the dark ground. 

And now, in this dreary December, 

Our glad hearts are fain 
To see if Earth comes not to help us ; 

We seek all in vain : 
Not the tiniest blossom is coming 

Till Spring breathes again. 

And the bright feast of Christmas is dawning, 

And Mary is blest ; 
For now she will give us her Jesus, 

Our dearest, our best, 
And see where she stands, the Maid-Mother. 

Her Babe on her breast ! 

And not one poor garland to give her, 

And yet now, behold, 
How the Kings bring their gifts — myrrh, and incense^ 

And bars of pure gold : 
And the Shepherds have brought for the Baby 

Some lambs from their folds. 

He stretches His tiny hands towards us, 

He brings us all grace ; 
And look at His Mother who holds Him, -— 

The smile on her face 
Says they welcome the humblest gifts 

In the manger we place. 

Where love takes, let love give ; and so doubt not: 
Love counts but the will, 



A DESIRE. 



357 



And the heart has its flowers of devotion 

Xo Winter can chill ; 
They who cared for " good will " that first Christmas 

Will care for it still. 

In the Chaplet on Jesus and Mary, 

From our hearts let us call, 
At each Ave Maria we whisper 

A rosebud shall fall, * 

And at each Gloria Patri a lily, 

The crown of them all ! 



A DESIRE. 




TO have dwelt in Bethlehem 

When the star of the Lord shone bright ! 
To have sheltered the holy wanderers 
On that blessed Christmas night ; 
To have kissed the tender wayworn feet 

Of the Mother undefiled, 
And, with reverent wonder and deep delight, 
To have tended the Holy Child ! 

Hush ! such a glory was not for thee ; 

But that care may still be thine ; 
For are there not little ones still to aid 

For the sake of the Child divine ! 
Are there no wandering Pilgrims now, 

To thy heart and thy home to take ? 
And are there no mothers whose weary heart* 

You can comfort for Marv's sake i 



j S 8 A DESIRE. 

O to have knelt at Jesus* feet. 

And to have learnt His heavenly lore ! 
To have listened the gentle lessons He taught 

On mountain, and sea, and shore ! 
While the rich and the mighty knew Him not, 

To have meekly done His will : — 
Hush ! for the worldly reject Him yet, 

You can serve and love Him still. 
- Time cannot silence His mighty words, 

And though ages have fled away, 
His gentle accents of love divine 

Speak to your soul to-day. 

O to have solaced that weeping one 

Whom the righteous dared despise ! 
To have tenderly bound up her scattered hair, 

And have dried her tearful eyes ! 
Hush ! there are broken hearts to soothe, 

And penitent tears to dry, 
While Magdalen prays for you and them, 

From her home in the starry sky. 

O to have followed the mournful way 

Of those faithful few forlorn ! 
And grace, beyond even an angel's hope, 

The Cross for our Lord have borne ! 
To have shared in His tender mother's grief, 

To have wept at Mary's side, 
To have lived as a child in her home, and then 

In her loving care have died ! 

Hush ! and with reverent sorrow still, 

Mary's great anguish share ; 
And learn, for the sake of her Son divine, 

Thy cross, like His, to bear, 



OUR DAILY BREAD. 359 

The sorrows that weigh on thy soul unite 
With those which thy Lord has borne, 

And Mary will comfort thy dying hour, 
Nor leave thy soul forlorn. 

O to have seen what we now adore, 

And, though veiled to faithless sight, 
To have known, in the form that Jesus wore, 

The Lord of Life and Light ! 
Mush ! for He dwells among us still, 

And a grace can yet be thine, 
Which the scoffer and doubter can never know, — 

The Presence of the Divine. 
Jesus is with His children yet, 

For His word can never deceive ; 
Go where His lowly Altars rise, 

And worship, and believe. 



OUR DAILY BREAD. 

IVE us our daily Bread, 

O God, the bread of strength ! 
For we have learnt to know 
How weak we are at length. 
As children we are weak, 

As children must be fed ; — 
Give us Thy Grace, O Lord, 
To be our daily Bread. 

Give us our daily Bread, — 
The bitter bread of grief. 




360 THREEFOLD. 

We sought earth's poisoned feast* 
For pleasure and relief; 

"We sought her deadly fruits, 
But now, O God, instead, 

We ask Thy healing grief 
To be our daily Bread. 

Give us our daily Bread 

To cheer our fainting soul ; 
The feast of comfort, Lord, 

And peace, to make us whole : 
For we are sick of tears, 

The useless tears we shed ; — 
Kow give us comfort, Lord, 

To be our daily Bread. 

Give us our daily Bread, 

The Bread of Angels, Lord, 
By us, so many times, 

Broken, betrayed, adored : 
His Body and His Blood ; — 

The feast that Jesus spread : 
Give Him — our life, our all — 

To be our daily Bread ! 



THREEFOLD. 




OTHER of grace and mercy, 
Behold how burdens three 
Weigh down my weary spirit, 
And drive me here — to Thea 
Three gifts I place forever 
Before thv shrine : 



THREEFOLD. 361 

The threefold offering of my love, 
Mary, to thine ! 

The Past : with all its memories, 

Of pain — that stings me yet ; 
Of sin — that brought repentance ; 

Of joy — that brought regret. 
That which has been : — forever 

So bitter-sweet — 
I lay in humblest offering 

Before thy feet. 

The Present : that dark shadow 

Through which we toil to-day; 
The slow drops of the chalice 

That must not pass away. 
Mother ! I dare not struggle, 

Still less despair : 
I place my Present in thy hands, 

And leave it there. 

The Future : holding all things 

Which I can hope or fear, 
Brings sin and pain, it may be, 

Nearer and yet more near. 
Mother ! this doubt and shrinking 

Will not depart, 
Unless I trust my Future 

To thy deal' Heart. 

Making the Past my lesson, 

Guiding the Present right, 
Ruling the misty Future, — 

Bless them and me to-night. 



COXFIDO ET COXQUIESCO. 

"What may be, and what must be, 

And what has been, 
In thy dear care forever 

I leave, my Queen ! 




COXFIDO ET COXQUIESCO. 

* Set* ; jwtest ; vult : quid est quod timeamus f " 

S. Ignatius 

RET not, poor soul : while doubt and feai 
Disturb thy breast, 
The pitying angels, who can see 
How vain thy wild regret must be, 
Say, Trust and Rest. 

Plan not, nor scheme, — but calmly wait ; 

His choice is best. 
While blind and erring is thy sight, 
His wisdom sees and judges right, 

So Trust and Rest. " 

Strive not, nor struggle : thy poor might 

Can never wrest 
The meanest thing to serve thy will ; 
All power is His alone : Be still, 

And Trust and Rest. 



Desire not : self-love is strong 

Within thy breast; 
And yet He loves thee better still, 
So let Him do His loving will, 
And Trust and Rest- 



OR A PRO JfK 



363 



What dost thou fear ? His wisdom reigns 

Supreme confessed; 
His power is infinite ; His love 
Thy deepest, fondest dreams above ; — 

So Trust and Kest. 



ORA PRO ME. 




^VE MARIA ! bright and pure, 
^raf Hear, O hear me when I pray ! 
^ v§l P^ 1 ^ an( l pleasures try the pilgrim 
On his long and weary way ; 
Fears and perils are around me, — 
Ora pro me. 

Mary, see my heart is burdened, 
Take, O take the weight away, 

Or help me, that I may not murmur 
If it is a cross you lay 

On my weak and trembling heart, — but 
Ora pro me. 

Mary, Mary, Queen of Heaven ! 

Teach, O teach me to obey : 
Lead me on, though fierce temptations 

Stand and meet me in the way ; 
When I fail and faint, my mother, 
Ora pro me. 

Then shall I — if thou, Mary, 
Art my strong support and sfay — 



364 THE CHURCH IN 1849. 

Fear nor feel the threefold danger 
Standing forth in dread array ; 
Now and ever shield and guard me, 
Ora pro me. 

When my eyes are slowly closing, 
And I fade from earth away, 

And when Death, the stern destroyer, 
Claims my body as his prey, — 

Claim my soul, and then, sweet Mary, 
Ora pro me. 



THE CHURCH IN 1849. 

MIGHTY Mother, hearken ! for thy 
foes 
Gather around thee, and exulting cry 
That thine old strength is gone and 
thou must die, 
Pointing with fierce rejoicing to thy woes. 
And is it so 1 The raging whirlwind blows 
No stronger now than it has doae of yore : 
Rebellion, strife, and sin have been before ; 
The same companions whom thy Master chose. 
We too rejoice : we know thy might is more 

When to the world thy glory seemeth dim ; 
Nor can Hell's gates prevail to conquer Thee, 

Who nearest over all the voice of Him 
Who chose thy first and greatest Prince should be 
A fisher on the Lake of Galilee. 





FISHERS OF MEN. 365 



FISHERS OF MEN. 

HE boats are out, and the storm is high ; 
We kneel on the shore and pray : 
The Star of the Sea shines still in the sky, 
And God is our help and stay. 

The fishers are weak, and the tide is strong, 
And their boat seems slight and frail ; 

But St. Peter has steered it for them so long, 
It would weather a rougher gale. 

St. John the Beloved sails with them too, 

And his loving words they hear; 
So with tender trust the boat's brave crew 

Neither doubt, or pause, or fear. 

He who sent them fishing is with them still, 

And He bids them east their net ; 
And He has the power their boat to fill, 

So we know He will do it yet. 

They have cast their nets again and again, 

And now call to us on shore ; 
If our feeble prayers seem only in vain, 

We will pray and pray the more. 

Though the storm is loud, and our voice is drowned 

By the roar of the wind and sea, 
We know that more terrible tempests found 

Their Kulcr, O Lord, in Thee ! 



3 66 



THE OLD TEARS BLL'SSING. 



See, they do not pause, they are toiling on, 

Yet they east a loving glance 
On the star above, and ever anon 

Look up through the blue expanse. 

O Mary, listen ! for danger is nigh, 
And we know thou art near us then ; 

For thy Son's dear servants to thee we cry, 
Sent out as fishers of men. 

O, watch, — as of old thou didst watch the boat 

On the Galilean lake, — 
And grant that the fishers may keep afloat 

Till the nets, o'ercharged, shall break. 



THE OLD YEAR'S BLESSING. 




AM fading from yon, 
But one draweth near, 

Called the Angel-guardian 
Of the coming year. 



If my gifts and graces 

Coldly you forget, 
Let the Xew Year's Angel 

Bless and crown them yet. 

For we work together; 

He and I are one : 
Let him end and perfect 

All I leave undone* 



THE OLD TEAR'S J7LESSIXG. 367 

I brought Good Desires, 

Though as yet but seeds ; 
Let the New Year make them 

Blossom into Deeds. 

I brought Joy to brighten 

Many happy days ; 
Let the New Year's Angel 

Turn it into Praise. 

If I gave you Sickness, 

If I brought you Care, 
Let him make one Patience, 

And the other Prayer. 

Where I brought you Sorrow, 
Through his care, at length, 

It may rise triumphant 
Into future Strength. 

If I brought you Plenty, 

All wealth's bounteous charmj^ 

Shall not the New Angel 
Turn them into Alms ? 

I gave Health and Leisure, 

Skill to dream and plan ; 
Let him make them nobler ; — 

Work for God and Man. 

If I broke your Idols, 

Showed you they were dust, 

Let him turn the Knowledge 
Into heavenly Trust. 



368 EVENING CHANT. 

If I brought Temptation, 

Let sin die away 
Into boundless Pity 

For all hearts that stray. 

If your list of Errors 
Dark and long appears, 

Let this new-born Monarch 
Melt them into Tears. 

May you hold this Angel 
Dearer than the last, — 

So I bless his Future, 

While he crowns my Paflfc 



EVENING CHANT. 

TEEW before our Lady's Picture 
Roses — flushing like the sky 
Where the lingering western cloudlet* 
Watch the daylight die. 



Violets steeped in dreamy odors, 
Humble as the Mother mild, 

Blue as were her eyes when watching 
O'er her sleeping Child. 

Strew white Lilies, pure and spotless, 
Bending on their stalks of green, 

Bending down with tender pity, — 
Like our Holy Queen. 




EVENING CHANT. 369 

tet the flowers spend their fragrance 
On our Lady's own dear shrine, 

While we claim her gracious helping 
Near her Son divine. 

Strew before our Lady's picture 

Gentle flowers, fair and sweet ; 
Hope, and Fear, and Joy, and Sorrow, 

Place, too, at her feet. 

Hark ! the Angelus is ringing, — 
Ringing through the fading light, 

In the heart of every Blossom 
Leave a prayer to-night. 

All night long will Mary listen, 
While our pleadings fond and deep 

On their scented breath are rising 
For us — while we sleep. 

Scarcely through the starry silence 

Shall one trembling petal stir, 
While they breathe their own sweet fragrance 

And our prayers — to Her. 

Peace to every heart that loves her! 

All her children shall be blest : 
While She prays and watches for us* 

We will trust and rest 



»4 



370 A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 



A CHKISTMAS CAROL. 




HE moon that now is shining 
In skies so blue and bright, 
Shone ages since on Shepherds 

Who watched their flocks by night 
There was no sound upon the earth, 

The azure air was still, 
The sheep in quiet clusters lay, 
Upon the grassy hill. 

When lo ! a white-winged Angel 

The watchers stood before, 
And told how Christ was born on earth. 

For mortals to adore ; 
He bade the trembling Shepherds 

Listen, nor be afraid, 
And told how in a manger 

The glorious Child was laid. 

When suddenly in the Heavens 

Appeared an Angel band, 
(The while in reverent wonder 

The Syrian Shepherds stand,) 
And all the bright host chanted 

Words that shall never cease, — 
Glory to God in the highest, 

On earth good-will and peace ! 

The vision in the heavens 
Faded, and all was still, 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 37 j 

And the wondering shepherds left their flocks, 

To feed upon the hill : 
Towards the blessed city 

Quickly their course they held, 
And in a lowly stable 

Virgin and Child beheld. 

Beside a humble manger 

Was the Maiden Mother mild. 
And in her arms her Son divine, 

A new-born Infant, smiled. 
No shade of future sorrow 

From Calvary then was cast ; 
Only the glory was revealed, 

The suffering was not passed. 

The Eastern kings before him knelt, 

And rarest offerings brought ; 
The shepherds worshipped and adored 

The wonders God had wrought : 
They saw the crown for Israel's King, 

The future's glorious part : — 
But all these things the Mother kept 

And pondered in her heart. 

Now we that Maiden Mother 

The Queen of Heaven call ; 
And the Child we call our Jesus, 

Saviour and Judge of all. 
But the star that shone in Bethlehem 

Shines still, and shall not cease, 
And we listen still to the tidings, 

Of Glory and of Peace. 



37* 



OUR TITLES. 



OUR TITLES. 



i|RE we not Nobles 1 we who trace 
Our pedigree so high 
That God for us and for our race 
Created Earth and Sky, 
And Light and Air and Time and Space, 
To serve us and then die. 




Are we not Princes ? we who stand 
As heirs beside the Throne ; 

We who can call the promised Land 
Our Heritage, our own ; 

And answer to no less command 
Than God's, and His alone. 

Are we not Kings ? both night and day, 

From early until late, 
About our bed, about our way, 

A guard of Angels wait ; 
And so we watch and work and pray 

In more than royal state. 

Are we not holy ? Do not start : 

It is God's sacred will 
To call us Temples set apart 

His Holy Ghost may fill: 
Our very food .... O hush, my Heart, 

Adore IT and be still ! 



Are we not more q our Life shall be 
Immortal and divine. 



MINISTERING ANGELS. 373 

The nature Mary gave to Thee, 

Dear Jesus, still is Thine ; 
Adoring in Thy Heart, I see 

Such blood as beats in mine. 

O God, that we can dare to fail, 

And dare to say we must ! 
God, that we can ever trail 

Such banners in the dust, 
Can let such starry honors pale, 

And such a Blazon rust ! 

Shall we upon such Titles bring 

The taint of sin and shame ? 
Shall we, the children of the King 

Who hold so grand a claim, 
Tarnish by any meaner thing 

The glory of our name ? 



MINISTERING ANGELS 

^XGELS of light, spread your bright wing* 
and keep 
Near me at morn : 
Nor in the starry eve, nor midnight dec^ 
Leave me forlorn. 



From all dark spirits of unholy power 
Guard my weak heart 

Circle around me in each perilous homfc 
And take my part. 







374 THE SHRINES OF MARY. 

From all foreboding thoughts and dangerous feara^ 

Keep me secure ; 
Teach me to hope, and through the bitterest tears 

Still to endure. 

If lonely in the road so fair and wide 

My feet should stray, 
Then through a rougher, safer pathway guide 

Me day by day. 

Should my heart faint at its unequal strife, 

O still be near ! 
Shadow the perilous sweetness of this life 

With holy fear. 

Then leave me not alone in this bleak world, 

Where'er I roam, 
And at the end, with your bright wings unfurled, 

O take me home ! 



THE SHRIXES OF MARY. 

HERE are many shrines of Our Lady, 
In different lands and climes, 
Where I can remember kneeling 
In old and beloved times. 



They arise now like stars before me, 
Through the long, long night of years ; 

Some are bright with a heavenly radiance, 
And others shine out through tears. 




375 



THE SHRINES OF MARY. 

They arise too like mystical flowers, 
All different, and all the same, — 

As they lie in my heart like a garland 
That is wreathed round Mary's name. 

Thus each shrine has two consecrations; 

One all the faithful can trace, 
But one is for me and me only, 

Holding my soul with its grace. 



A shrine in a quaint old Chapel 
Defaced and broken with years, 

Where the pavement is worn with kneeling, 
And the step with kisses and tears. 

She is there in the dawn of morning, 
When the day is blue and bright, 

In the shadowy evening twilight 
And the silent, starry night. 

Through the dim old painted window 
The Hours look down, and shed 

A different glory upon her, 
Violet, purple, and red. 

And there — in that quaint old Chapel 

As I stood one day alone — 
Came a royal message from Mary, 

That claimed my life as her own. 



TEE SERINES OF MARY. 



IL 

I remember a vast Cathedral 

Which holds the struggle and strife 

Of a grand and powerful city, 

As the heart holds the throb of a life. 



Where the ebb and the flow of passion, 

And sin in its rushing tide, 
Have dashed on that worn stone chapel, 

Dashed, and broken, and died. 

And above the voices of sorrow 
And the tempter's clamorous din, 

The voice of Mary has spoken 

And conquered the pain and the sin; 

For long ages and generations 

Have come there to strive and to pray; 
She watched and guided them living, 

And does not forget them to-day. 

And once, in that strange, vast City 
I stood in its great stone square, 

Alone in the crowd and the turmoil 
Of the pitiless Southern glare ; 

And a grief was upon my spirit, 
Wliich I could not cast away, 

It weighed on my heart all the night-time, 
And it fretted my life all day. 

So then to that calm, cool refuge 
I turned from the noisy street 



THE SERINES OF MARY. 377 

And I carried my burden of sorrow — 
And left it at Mary's feet. 



in. 

I remember a lonely chapel 
With a tender claim upon me ; 

It was built for the sailors only, 

And they call it the Star of the Sea. 

And the murmuring' chant of the Vespers 
Seems caught up by the wailing breeze, 

And the throb of the organ is echoed 
By the rush of the silver seas. 

And the votive hearts and the anchors 
Tell of danger and peril past ; 

Of the hope deferred and the waiting, 
And the comfort that came at last. 

I too had a perilous venture, 

On a stormy and treacherous main, 

And I too was pleading to Mary 
Prom the depths of a heart in pain. 

It was not a life in peril, — 

O God, it was far, far more ! 
And the whirlpool of Hell's temptations 

Lay between the wreck and the shore. 

Thick mists hid the light of the beacon, 
And the voices of warning were dumb ; 

So I knelt by the Altar of Mary, 
And told her Her hour was come. 



37 8 THE SHRINES OF MARY, 

For she waits till Earths aid forsakes us, 
Till we know our own efforts are vain; 

And we wait, in our faithless blindness, 
Till no chance but her prayers remain. 

And now in that sea-side chapel 
By that humble village shrine 

Hangs a heart of silver, that tells her 
Of the love and the gladness of mine. 



IV. 



There is one far shrine I remember 

In the years that are fled away, 
Where the grand old mountains are guarding 

The glories of night and day. 

Where the earth in her rich, glad beauty 
Seems made for our Lady's throne, 

And the stars in their radiant clusters 
Seem fit for her crown alone. 

Where the balmy breezes of summer 

On their odorous pinions bear 
The fragrance of orange blossoms, 

And the chimes of the Convent prayer. 

There I used to ask for Her blessing 
As each summer twilight was gray; 

There I used to kneel at her Altar 
At each blue, calm dawn of day. 

There in silence was Victory granted, 
And the terrible strife begun, 



THE SHRINES OF MART. 379 

That only with Her protection 

Could be dared, or suffered, or won. 

If I love the name of that Altar, 

And the thought of those days gone by, 

It is only the Heart of Mary 

And my own that remember why. 



Where long ages of toil and of sorrow, 

And Poverty's weary doom, 
Have clustered together so closely 

That life seems shadowed with gloom, 

Where crime that lurks in the darkness 
And vice that glares at the day 

Make the spirit of hope grow weary, 
And the spirit of love decay, 

Where the feet of the wretched and sinful 
Have closest and oftenest trod, 

Is a house, as humble as any, 
Yet we call it the House of God. 

It is one of our Lady's Chapels ; 

And though poorer than all the rest, 
Just because of the sin and the sorrow, 

I think she loves it the best. 

There are no rich gifts on the Altar, 
The shrine is humble and bare, 

Yet the poor and the sick and the tempted 
Think their home and their heaven is there. 



380 THE SERINES OF MART. 

And before that humble Altar 

Where Our Lady of Sorrow stands, 

I knelt with a weary longing, 
And I laid a vow in her hands. 

And I know, when I enter softly 
And pause at that shrine to pray, 

That the fret and the strife and the burden 
Will be softened and laid away. 

And the Prayer and the Vow that sealed it 
Have bound my soul to that shrine, 

For the Mother of Sorrows remembers 
Her promise, and waits for mine. 



It is one long chaplet of memories 

Tender and true and sweet, 
That gleam in the Past and the Distance. 

Like lamps that burn at her feet. 

Like stars that will shine forever, 
For time cannot touch or stir 

The graces that Mary has given, 
Or the trust that we give to her. 

Past griefs are perished and over, 
Past joys have vanished and died, 

Past loves are fled and forgotten, 
Past hopes have been laid aside. 

Past fears have faded in daylight, 
Past sins have melted in tears ; — 



THE HOMELESS POOR. 

One Love and Remembrance only 
Seems alive in those dead old years. 

So wherever I look in the distance, 
And whenever I turn to the Past, 

There is always a shrine of Mary 
Each brighter still than the last. 

I will ask for one grace, O Mother ! 

And will leave the rest to thy will : 
From one shrine of thine to another, 

Let my Life be a Pilgrimage still ! 

At each one, O Mother of Mercy ! 

Let still more of thy love be given, 
Till I kneel at the last and brightest, — 

The Throne of the Queen of Heaven. 



381 



THE HOMELESS POOR. 




ALM the city lay in midnight silence, 
Deep on streets and roofs the sno* 
lay white ; 
Then I saw an Angel spread his pinions 
Rising up to Heaven to meet the night. 



In his hands he bore two crowns of lilies, 
Sweet with sweetness not of earthly flowers, 

But a coronal of prayers for Heaven 

He had gathered through the evening hours ; — 



3 8a THE HOMELESS POOR 

He Viad gathered in that mighty city 

Through whose streets and pathways he had ,&*£, 
Till he wove into a winter garland 

Prayers that faithful hearts had sent to God. 

Through the azure midnight he was rising ; 

As I watched, I saw his upward flight 
Checked by a mighty Angel, whose stern challenge 

Like a silver blast, rang through the night. 

Then strange words upon the silence broke, 
And I listened as the Angels spoke. 



THE ANGEL OF PRATERS. 

" I have come from wandering through the city, 
I have been to seek a garland meet 

To be placed before His throne in Heaven, 
To be laid at His dear Mother's feet. 

" I have been to one of England's Havens, — 
To a Home for peace and honor planned, 

Where the kindly lights of joy and duty 
Meet and make the glory of the land. 

" There I heard the ring of children's laughter 
Hushed to eager silence ; I could see 

How the father stroked their golden tresses 
As they clustered closer round his knee. 

" And 1 heard him tell, with loving honor, 
How the wanderers to Bethlehem came, 

And I saw each head in reverence bowing 
When he named the Holy Child's dear name 



THE HOMELESS POOR. 383 

« Then he told how houseless, homeless, friendless. 
They had wandered wearily and long, — 

Of the manger where our Lord was cradled, 
Of the Shepherds listening to our song. 

m As he spoke, I heard his accents falter, 
And I saw each childish heart was stirred 

With a loving throb of tender pity 

At the sorrowful, sweet tale they heard. 

" As the children sang their Christmas carol 
I could see the mother's eyes grow dim, 

And she held her baby closer, — feeling 
Most for Mary through her love for him. 

" So I gathered from that home, as flowers, 
All the tender, loving words I heard 

Given this night to Jesus and to Mary, — 
Look at them, and say if I have erred." 



THE AXGEL OF DEEDS. 

u In that very street, at that same hour, 

In the bitter air and drifting sleet, 
Crouching in a doorway was a mother, 

With her children shuddering at her feet. 

* She was silent ; — who would hear her pleading ? 

Men and beasts were housed ; but she must s**y 
Houseless in the great and pitiless city, 

Till the dawning of the winter day. 

u Homeless — while her fellow-men are resting 
Calm and blest : their very dogs are fed, 



384 TEE HOMELESS POOR. 

Warm and sheltered, and their sleeping children 
Safely nestled in each little bed. 

u She can only draw her poor rags closer 
Round her wailing baby, — closer hold 

One, the least and sickliest, — while the others 
Creep together, tired, hungry, cold. 

'• What are these poor flowers thou hast gathered % 
Cast such fragile, worthless tokens by : 

Will He prize mere words of love and honor 
While His Homeless Poor are left to die ? 

"He has said — His truths are all eternal— 
What He said both has been and shall be, — 

What ye have not done to these my poor ones, 
Lo ! ye have not done it unto Me." 



Then I saw the Angel with the flowers 
Bow his head and answer, "It is well," 

As he cast a wreath of lilies earthward, 
And I saw them wither as they fell. 

Once again the Angel raised his head, 
Smiled and showed the other wreath and said : 



THE ANGEL OP PRATERS. 

* I have been where, kneeling at the Altar, 
Hushed in reverent awe, a faithful throng 

Have this night adored the Holy Presence, 
Worshipping with incense, prayer, and song. 



THE HOMELESS POOR. 385 

"Every head was bowed in loving honor, 
Every heart with loving awe was thrilled ; 

Earth and things of earth seemed all forgotten ; 
He was there — and meaner thoughts were stilled 

" There on many souls in strait and peril 

Did that gracious Benediction fall, 
With the strength or peace or joy or warning 

He could give, who loved and knew them alL 

" There was silence, but all hearts were speaking t 
When the deepest hush of silence fell, 

On the fragrant air and breathless longing 
Came the echo of one silver bell. 

" On each spirit such a flood of sweetness 
Broke — as we who dwell in Heaven feel, 

Then the Adoremus in eternum, 

Jubilant and strong, rolled peal on peal. 

u They had given holy adoration, 

Tender words of *ove and praise ; all bright 
With the dew of contrite tears — such blossom* 

I am bearing to His throne to-night." 



THE ANGEL OF DEEDS. 

«* Pause again : these flowers arc fair and lovely, 
Radiant in their perfume and their bloom ; 

But not far from where you plucked tins garland 
Is a squalid place in ghastly gloom. 

u There black waters in their luring silence 
Under loathsome arches crawl and creep, 

*5 



3 S6 THE HOMELESS POOR. 

There the rats and vermin herd together .... 
There God's poor ones sometimes come to sleep, 

" There the weary come, who through the daylight 
Pace the town, and crave for work in vain ; 

There they crouch in cold and rain and hunger, 
Waiting for another day of pain. 

* In slow darkness creeps the dismal river ; 

From its depths looks up a sinful rest ; 
Many a weary, baffled, hopeless wanderer 
Has it drawn into its treacherous breast. 

* There is near another River flowing, 
Black with guilt, and deep as hell and sin ; 

On its brink even sinners stand and shudder, — 
Cold and hunger goad the homeless in. 

* Yet these poor ones to His heart are dearer 
For their grief and peril : dear indeed 

Would have been the love that sought and fe4 
them, 
Gave them warmth and shelter in their need, 

"For His sake those tears and prayers are offered 
Which you bear as flowers to His throne ; 

Better still would be the food and shelter, 
Given for Him and given to His own. 

" Praise with loving deeds is dear and holy, 
Words of praise will never serve instead : 

Lo ! you offer music, hymn, and incense — 
When He has nut where to lay His litad" 



J 



THE HOMELESS POOR. 3 g? 

Then once more the Angel with the Flowers 
Bowed his head, and answered, " It is well," 

As he east a wreath of lilies earthwards, 
And I saw them wither as they fell. 

So the Vision faded, and the Angels 

Melted far into the starry sky ; 
By the light upon the eastern Heaven 

I could see another day was nigh. 

Was it quite a dream ? God ! we love Him ; 

All our love, though weak, is given to Him ; — 
Why is it our hearts have been so hardened 1 

Why is it our eyes have been so dim ? 

Still as for Himself the Infant Jesus 
In His little ones asks food and rest, — 

Still as for His Mother He is pleading 
Just as when He lay upon her breast. 

Jesus, then, and Mary still are with us, — 
Night will find the Child and Mother near, 

Waiting for the shelter we deny them, 

While we tell them that we hold thern dear. 

Help us, Lord ! not these Thy poor ones only, 
They are with us always, and shall be : — 

Help the blindness of our hearts, and teach us 
In Thy homeless ones to succor Thee. 




3 8S MILLTS EXPIATION. 

MILLY'S EXPIATION 

THE PRIEST^ STORY. 



HERE are times when all tiiese Jenoji 
Seem to fade, and fade away, 
"Like a nightmare's ghastly presence 
In the truthful dawn of day. 
There jre times, too, when before me 

They arise, and seem to hold 
In their gra«?p my very being 

With the deadly strength of old, 
Till my spirit quails within me, 
And my very heart grows cold. 



For I watched when Cold and Hunger, 

Like wild beasts that sought for prey, 
With a savage glare crept onward 

Until men were turned at bay. 
You have never seen those hunters, 

Who have never known that fear, 
When life costs a crust, and costing 

Even that is still too dear : 
But, you know, I lived in Ireland 

In the fatal famine year. 



Yes, those days are now forgotten ; 
God be tlianked ! men can forget ; 



MILLTS EXPIATION. 389 

Time's great gift can heal the fevers 

Called Remembrance and Regret. 
Man despises such forgetting ; 

But I think the Angels know, 
Since each hour brings new burdens, 

We must let the old ones go, — 
Very weak, or very noble 

Are the few who cling to woe. 



As a child, I lived in Connaught, 

And from dawn till set of sun 
Played with all the peasant-children, 

So I knew them every one. 
There was not a cabin near us, 

But I had my welcome there ; 
Though of money-help in those days 

We had none ourselves to spare, 
Yet the neighbors had no trouble 

That I did not know and share. 



O that great estate ! the Landlord 

Was abroad, a good man too ; 
And the agent was not cruel, 

But he had hard things to do. 
As a child I saw great suffering 

Which I could not understand, 
So I went back as a man there 

With redress and helping planned ; 
But I found, on reaching Connaught, 

There was famine in the land. 



390 3IILLTS EXPIATION. 

VI. 

Well, I worked, I toiled, I labored ; 

So, thank God, did many more; 
But I had a special pity 

For the place I knew before. 
It was changed ; the old were vanished ; 

Those who had been workers there 
Were grown old now ; and the children, 

With their sunny eyes and hair, 
Were a ragged army, fighting 

Hand to hand with black despair. 



There were some I sought out, longing 

For the old familiar face, 
For the hearty Irish welcome 

To the well-known corner place ; 
So I saw them, and I found it. 

But of all whom I had known, 
I cared most to see the Connors : 

Their poor cabin stood alone 
In the deep heart of the valley, 

By the old gray fairy stone. 



They were decent people, holding, 

Though no richer than the rest, 
Still a place beyond their neighbors, 

With a tacit, unconfessed 
Pride — it may have been — that held them 

From complaint when things went ill : 
I might guess when work was slacker, 

But no shadow seemed to chill 



M1LLTB EXPIATION. 39 i 

The warm welcome which they offered ; 
It was warm and cheerful still. 



IX. 

Yet their home was changed : the father 

And the mother were no more; 
And the brothers, Phil and Patrick, 

Kept starvation from the door. 
There were many little faces 

Gathered round the old hearthstone , J 
But the children I had played with 

Were the men and women grown ; 
Phil and Patrick, Kate and Milly, 

Were the ones whom I had known. 



Kate was grown, but little altered, 

Just the sunburnt, rosy face, 
With its merry smile, whose shining 

Seemed tc light the darkest place. 
But all, young and old, held Milly 

As their dearest and their best, 
From the baby orphan-sisters 

Whom she hushed upon her breast, — 
She it was who bore the burdens, 

Love and sorrow, for the rest. 



Yes, I knew the tall slight figure, 
And the face so pale and fair, 

Crowned with long, long plaited tresses 
Of her shining yellow hair ; 



39 2 MILLTS EXPIATION. 

She was very calm and tender, 

Warm and brave, yet just and wise, 

Meeting grief with tender pity, 
Sin with sorrowful surprise : 

I have fancied Angels watch us 
With such sad and loving eyes. 



Well, I questioned past and future, 

Heard of plans and hopes and fears ; 
How all prospects grew still darker 

With the shade of coming years. 
Hilly still deferred her marriage ; 

But the brothers urged of late 
She would leave them and old Ireland, 

And at least secure her fate ; 
Michael pleaded too, — but vainly ; 

Milly chose to wait and wait. 



Though all liked her cousin Michael, — 

He was steady, a good son, — 
Yet we wondered at the treasure 

Which his careless heart had won. 
Ah, he was not worth her ! Milly 

Must have guessed our thought in part* 
For she feigned such special deference 

For his judgment and his heart : 
The defiance and the answer 

Of instinctive woman's art. 

XIV. 

But my duties would not let me 
Stay in one place ; I must go 



MILLTS EXPIATION. 393 

Where the want and need were greatest ; 

So 1 travelled to and fro. 
And I could not give the bounty 

Which was meant for all to share, 
Save in scanty portions, counting 

What each hamlet had to bear ; 
So my old home and old comrades 

Had to struggle with despair. 



I could note at every visit 

How all suffered more and more ; 
How the rich were growing poorer, 

The poor, poorer than before. 
And each time that I returned there, 

I could see the famine spread ; 
Till I heard of each fresh horror, 

Each new tale of fear and dread, 
With more pity for the living, 

More rejoicing for the dead. 



Yet through all the bitter trials 

Of that long and fearful time, 
Still the suffering came untended 

By its hideous sister, Crime. 
Earthly things seemed grown less potent, 

Fellow-sufferers grown more dear, 
Murmurs even hushed in silence, 

Just as if, in listening fear, 
While God spoke so loud in sorrow, 

They all felt He must be near. 



394 MILLVS EXPIATION. 



But one day — I well remember 

How the warm soft autumn breeze, 
And the gladness of the sunshine, 

And the calmness of the seas, 
Seemed in strange unnatural contrast 

To the tale of woe and dread 
Which I heard with painful wonder, — 

That the agent — I have said 
That he was not harsh or cruel — 

Had been shot at, and was dead. 

XVIII. 

For I felt in that small hamlet 

More or less I knew them all, 
And on some I cared for, surely, 

Must this bitter vengeance fall ; 
But I little dreamed how bitter, 

And the grief how great and wide, 
Till I heard that Michael Connor 

Was accused, and would be tried 
For this base and bloody murder ; 

Then I cried out that they lied ! 



He, who might be weak and reckless, 

Yet was gentle and humane ; 
He who scarcely had the courage 

To inflict a needful pain, — 
Why, it could not be ! And Milly, 

With her honest, noble pride, 
And her faith and love, God help her ! 

It were better she had died. 



31ILLTS EXPIATION. 395 

So I thought, and thought, and pondered, 
Till I knew they must have lied. 



There was want and death and hunger 

Near me then ; but this great crime 
Seemed to haunt me with its terror, 

And grow worse and worse with time, 
Till I could not bear it longer, 

And I turned my steps once more 
To the hamlet ; did not slacken 

Till I reached the cabin-door : 
Then I paused ; I never dreaded 

The kind welcome there before. 



So I entered. Kate was sitting 

By the empty hearth ; around 
Were the children, ragged, hungry, 

Crouching silent on the ground. 
But a wail of grief and sorrow 

Rose, and Katie hid her face, 
Sobbing out she had no welcome, 

For a curse was on the place, 
And their honest name was covered 

With another's black disgrace. 

XXII. 

Then I soothed her ; asked for Milly ; 

And was told she was away ; 
Gone as witness to the trial, 

And the trial was that day. 
But all knew, so Katie told me, 

Hope or comfort there was none; 



396 MILLTS EXPIATION-. 

They were sure to find him guilty, 
And before to-morrow's sun 

He must die. I dared not loiter, 
For the trial had begun. 

XXIII. 

Yet I asked how Milly bore it ; 

And Kate told me some strange gleam 
Of wild hope seemed living in her, 

But all knew it was a dream. 
Then I mounted ; rode on faster, 

Faster still ; the way was long ; 
Hope and anger, fear and pity, 

Each by turns were loud and strong, 
And above all, infinite pity 

For the sorrow and the wrong. 

XXIV. 

So I rode and rode, and entered 

On the crowded market-place. 
There was wonder, too, and pity 

Upon many a hungry face ; 
But I pushed on quicker, quicker, 

Every moment held a fate. 
As the great town-clock struck mid-day, 

I alighted at the gate : 
No, the trial was not over ; 

I was not, thank God, too late, 



For I hoped — the chance was meagre — 
That my true and earnest word 

Might avail him, if the question 
Of his former life was stirred ; 



MILLTS EXPIATION. 397 

So the crowd believed : they parted, 

Let me take a foremost place, 
Till I saw a shaking figure 

And a terror-stricken face ■ 
Was it guilt, or only terror ? 

Fear of death, or of disgrace ? 



But a sudden breathless silence 

Hushed the lowest whisper there, 
And I saw a slight young figure 

Crowned with yellow plaited hair, 
Rise, and answer as they called her ; 

Rise before them all, and stand 
With no quiver in her accent, 

And no trembling in her hand, 
Just a flush upon her forehead 

Like a burning crimson brand. 



Slowly, steadily, and calmly, 

Then the awful words were said, 
Calling God in Heaven to witness 

To the truth of what she said. 
As the oath in solemn order 

On the reverent silence broke, 
Some strange terror and misgiving 

With a sudden start awoke : 
What fear was it seized upon me 

As I heard the words she spoke ? 



As she stood there, looking onward, 
Onward, neither left nor right, 



37 8 M1LLTS EXPIATION* 

Did she see some deadly purpose 

Buried, hidden out of sight ? 
Did she see a blighting shadow 

From the cloudy future cast ? 
Or reluctant fading from her 

Right and honor, — fading fast 
All her youth's remembered lesson^ 

All the honest, noble past ? 



But her accents never faltered, 

As she swore the day and time, 
At the hour of the murder, 

At the moment of the crime, 
She had spoken with the prisoner 

Then a gasping joyful sigh 
Kan through all the court ; they knew it, - 

Now the prisoner would not die .... 
And I knew that God in Heaven 

Had been witness to a lie ! 



Then I turned and looked at Michael ; 

Saw a rush of wonder stir 
Through his soul ; perplexed, bewildered, 

He looked strangely up at her. 
Would he speak ? could he have courage ? 

Where she fell, could he be strong ? 
Where she sinned, and sinned to save him, 

Could he thrust away the wrong ? 
That one moment's strange revulsion 

Seemed to me an hour long. 



M ILLY' 8 EXPIATION. 399 

XXXI. 

And I saw the sudden shrinking 

In her brothers ; wondering scorn 
In the glance they cast upon her 

Showed they knew she was forsworn. 
They were stern, by want made sterner ; 

But the spot where Milly came 
In their hearts was soft and tender 

For her dear and honored name : 
Now the very love was hardened, 

And the honor turned to shame. 

XXXII. 

So I left the place, nor lingered 

To see ^Michael, or to feign 
Joy where joy was mixed so strangely 

Both with pity and with pain. 
Many weeks I toiled and labored 

Far from there, but night and day 
One sad memory dwelt beside me, 

On my heart one shadow lay ; — 
Light was faded, glory tarnished, 

And a soul was cast away. 



XXXIII. 

It was evening ; and the sunset 
Glowed and glittered on the seas, 

When a great ship heaved its anchor, 
Loosed its sails to meet the breeze, 

Sailing, sailing to the westward. 

Eyes were wet and hearts were sore ; 



^oo MILLY'S EXPIATION. 

Many a heart that left its country, 
Many a heart upon the shore, 

Knew that parting was forever, 
Said farewell for evermore. 



In that sad and silent evening, 

On the sunny, quiet beach, 
Lingered little groups of watchers, 

But with hearts too full for speech. 
As I passed, I knew so many, 

That my heart ached too that night, 
For the yearning love, that, gazing, 

Strained to see the last faint sight 
Of the great ship, sailing westward, 

Down the track of evening light. 

XXXV. 

None were lonely though, — one sorrow 

Drew that evening heart to heart ; 
Only far from all the others 

One lone woman stood apart. 
There was something in the figure, 

Tall and slender, standing there, 
That I knew — yet no, I doubted — 

That forlorn and helpless air ; 
When a gleam of sunset glory 

Showed her yellow braided hair, 

XXXVI. 

It was Milly : ere I sought her, 
One who knew her, standing by, 

Said, " Her people sailed from Ireland, 
And she Stayed, but none knew why. 



MILLTS EXPIATION. 401 

They were strong ; in that far country 
Work such men were sure to find ; 

They had offered to take Milly, 
Pressed her often, and been kind ; 

They had taken the young children, 
Only she was left behind. 

XXXVII. 

" Michael, too, was with them : doubly 

Had his fame been cleared by time ; 
For the murderer, lately dying, 

Had confessed and owned the crime : 
And yet Milly, none knew wherefore, 

Broke her plighted troth to him ; 
Parted, too, with ail her loved ones 

For some strange and selfish whim," . • • 
O, my heart was sore for Milly, 

And I felt my eyes grow dim* 

XXXVIII. 

She is still in Irehnd ; dwelling 

Near the old place, and alone; 
Just the same kind, loving spirit, 

But the old light heart is flown. 
When the humble toil is over 

For her scanty daily bread, 
Then she turns to nurse the sufferings 

Or to pray besMe the dead : 
Many, many thankful blessings 

Fall each day upon her head. 

XXXIX. 

There is no distress or sorrow 
Milly does not try to cheer ; 
26 



402 A CASTLE IN THE AIR. 

There is never fever raging 

But you always find her near : 
And she knows — at least I think so — 

That I guess her secret pain ; 
T\fhy her Love and why her Sorrow 

Need be purified from stain, 
Need in special consecration 

Be restored to God again. 



A CASTLE IX THE AIR. 



BUILT myself a castle, 
So noble, grand and fair ; 

I built myself a castle, 
A castle — in the air. 



The fancies of my twilights 
That fade in sober truth, 

The longing of my sorrow, 
And the vision of my youth ; 

The plans of joyful futures ; 

So dear they used to seem ; 
The prayer that rose unbidden, 

Half prayer — and half a dream ; 

The hopes that died unuttered 
Within this heart of mine ; — 

For all these tender treasures 
My castle was the shrine. 




PER PACEM AD LUCEM. 403 

I looked at all the castles 

That rise to grace the land, 
But I never saw another 

So stately or so grand. 

And now you see it shattered, 

My castle in the air ; 
It lies, a dreary ruin, 

All desolate and bare. 

I cannot build another, 

I saw that one decay ; 
And strengtli and heart and courage 

Died out the self-same day. 

Yet still, beside that ruin, 

With hopes as deep and fond, 
I waited with an infinite longing, 

Only — I look beyond. 



PER PACEM AD LUCEM. 

DO not ask, O Lord, that life may be 

A pleasant road ; 
I do not ask that Thou wouldst takq 
from me 

Aught of its load ; 

I do not ask that flowers should always spring 

Beneath my feet ; 
I know too well the poison and the sting 

Of things too sweet. 




404 A LEGEND. 

For one thing only, Lord, dear Lord, I plead, 

Lead me aright — 
Though strength should falter, and though heart 
should bleed — 

Through Peace to Light. 

I do not ask, O Lord, that thou shouldst shed 

Full radiance here ; 
Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread 

Without a fear. 

I do not ask my cross to understand, 

My way to see ; 
Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand 

And follow Thee. 

Joy is like restless day ; but peace divine 

Like quiet night : 
Lead me, O Lord, — till perfect Day shall shine, 

Through Peace to Light. 



A LEGEND. 

i. 

HE Monk was preaching : strong his 
earnest word, 
From the abundance of his heart he 
spoke, 




And the flame spread, — in every soul that heard 
Sorrow and love and good resolve awoke : — 



A LEGEND. 405 

The poor lay Brother, ignorant and old, 
Thanked God that he had heard such words of 
gold. 



" Still let the glory, Lord, be thine alone," — 
So prayed the Monk, his heart absorbed in 
praise : 

" Thine be the glory : if my hands have sown 
The harvest ripened in Thy mercy's rays, 

It was Thy blessing, Lord, that made my word, 

Bring light and love \o every soul that heard. 

in. 
" O Lord, I thank Thee that my feeble strength 

Has been so blest ; that sinful hearts and cold 
Were melted at my pleading, — knew at length 

How sweet Thy service and how safe Thy fold : 
While souls that loved Thee saw before them rise 
Still holier heights of loving sacrifice." 



So prayed the Monk : when suddenly he heard 
An angel speaking thus : " Know, my Son, 

Thy words had all been vain, but hearts werp 
stirred, 
And saints were edified, and sinners won, 

By his, the poor lay Brother's humble aid 

Who sat upon the pulpit stair and prayed." 



406 



BIRTHDAY GIFTS. 



BIRTHDAY GIFTS. 



FOR A CHILD. 




HY do you look sad, my Minnie 1 
Tell me darling, — for to-day 
Is the birthday of Our Lady, 

And Her children should be gay. 



"What ? — You say that all the others, 

Alice, Cyril, Effic, Paul, 
All had got a gift to give Her, 

Only you had none at all. 

"Well, dear, that does seem a pity : 
Tell me how it came about 

That the others bring a present, 
And my Minnie comes without. 

Alice has a lovely Banner, 

All embroidered blue and gold : — 
Then you know that sister Alice 

Is so clever aud so old. 



Cyril has his two camellias ; 

One deep red, and one pure white : 
They will stand at Benediction 

On the Altar steps to-night. 

Effie, steady little Effie, 

Stitching many an hour away, 

She has clothed a little orphan 
All in honor of to-day. 



BIRTHDAY GIFTS. 407 

With the skill the good Nuns taught her 

Angela herself has made 
Two tall stems of such real lilies, 

They do all but smell — and fade. 

Then with look of grave importance 

Comes our quiet little Paul, 
With the myrtle from his garden: — 

He himself is not as tall. 

Even Baby Agnes, kneeling 

With half shy, half solemn air, 
Held up one sweet rose to Mary, 

Lisping out her tiny prayer. 

Wei 1 , my Minnie, say, how was it ? 

Shall I guess ? I think I know «* 

All the griefs. Well, I will count them : — 

First, your rose-tree would not blow ; 

Then the fines have been so many 

All the pennies melt away ; 
Then for work — I know my Minnie 

Cares so very much for play, 

That these little clumsy fingers 

Scarcely yet have learnt to sew, 
Still le»s all the skilful fancies 

Angela and Alice know. 

Yet my Minnie can't be treated 

Quite as Baby was to-day, 
When Mamma or Alice gave her 

Something just to give away. 



4 o8 BIRTHDAY GIFTS. 

Well, my darling, there are many 
Who have neither time nor skill, 

Gold nor silver, yet they offer 
Gifts to Mary if they will. 

There are ways — Our Lady knows them, 
And Her children all should know 

How to find a flower for Mary 
Underneath the deepest snow ; 

How to make a lovely garland, 
Winter though it be and cold ; 

How to buy the rarest offering, 

Costing — something — but not gold ; 

How to buy, and buy it dearly, 
* Gifts that She will love to take ; 

Nor to grudge the cost, but give it 
Cheerfully for Mary's sake. 

Does that seem so strange, my darling ! 

Nay dear, it is nothing new ; 
All can give Her noble presents, — 

Shall! tell you of a few? 

What were those the Magi offered, 

Frankincense and gold and myrrh : — 

Minnie thinks that Saints and Monarchs 
Are quite different from her ! 

. . . Sometimes it is hard to listen 

To a word unkind or cold 
And to smile a loving answer : 

Do it — and you give Her gold. 



BIR THDA Y GIFTS. 409 

Thoughts of Her in work or playtime, 
Those small grains of incense rare, 

Cast upon a burning censer, 

Rise in perfumed clouds of prayer. 

There are sometimes bitter fancies, 

Little murmurs that will stir 
Even a loving heart : — but crush them 

And you give Our Lady myrrh. 

Give your little crosses to her, 

Which each day, each hour befall; 

They remind Her of Her Jesus, 
So she loves them best of all. 

Some seem very poor and worthless, 

Yet however small and slight, 
Given to her by one who loves her, 

They are precious in her sight. 

One may be so hard to carry 

That your hands will bleed and smart : — 
Go and take it to Her Altar, 

Go and place it in her heart ; 

Check your tears and try to love it, 

Love it as His sacred will : 
So you set the cross with jewels, 

Make your gift more precious still. 

There are souls — alas ! too many — 

Who forget that Jesus died, 
Who forget that sin forever 

Is the lance to pierce His side. 



4io BIR TED A Y GIFTS. 

Hearts that turn away from Jesus ; 

Sins that scourge Him and betray ; 
Cold and cruel souls that even 

Crucify Him day by day. 

Ah ! poor sinners ! Mary loves them, 
And she knows no royal Jem 

Half so noble or so precious 

As the prayer you say for them ; 

Or resign some little pleasure, 
Give it her instead, to win 

Help for some poor soul in peril, 
Grace for some poor heart in sin, 

Mercy for poor sinners, — pleading 
For their souls as for your own ; — 

So you make a crown of jewels 
Fit to lay before Her throne. 

Flowers — why I should never finish 
If I tried to count them too, — 

If I told you how to know them, 
In what garden-plot they grew. 

Yet I think my darling guesses 
They are emblems, and we trace 

In the rarest and the loveliest 
Acts of love and gifts of grace. 

Modest violets, meek snowdrops, 
Holy lilies white and pure, 

Faithful tendrils — herbs for healing — 
If they only would endure ! 



A BEGGAR. 411 

And they will, — such flowers fade not ; 

They are not of mortal hirth ; 
And such garlands given to Mary 

Die not like the gifts of Earth. 

Well, my Minnie, can you tell me 

You have still no gift to lay 
At the feet of your dear Mother, 

Any hour, any day 1 

Give Her now — to-day — forever, 

One great gift, — the first, the hest, « — 

Give your heart to Her, and ask her 
How to give her all the rest. 



A BEGGAR. 




BEG of you, I beg of you, my brothers, 

For my need is very sore ; 
Not for gold and not for silver do I ask 
you, 

But for something even more : 
From the depths of your hearts pity let it be — 
Pray for me. 

I beg of you whose robes of radiant whiteness 

Have been kept without a stain ; 
Of you who, stung to death by serpent Pleasure, 

Found the healing Angel Pain : 
Whether holy or forgiven you may be — 
Pray for me. 



412 A BEGGAfi. 

I beg of you calm souls whose wondering pity 

Looks at paths you never trod : 
I beg of you who suffer — for all sorrow 

Must be very near to God — 
And the need is even greater than you see — 
Pray for me. 

1 beg of you, children, for He loves you, 
And^ He loves your prayers the best : 

Fold your little hands together, and ask Jesus 
That the weary may have rest, 

That a bird caught in a net may be set free — 
Pray for me. 

I beg of you who stand before the Altar, 

Whose anointed hands upraise 
All the sin and all the sorrow of the Ages, 

All the love and all the praise, 
And the glory which was always and shall be — 
Pray for me. 

I beg of you — of you who through Life's battle 

Our dear Lord has set apart, 
That while we who love the peril are made captive^ 

Still the Church may have its Heart 
Which is fettered that our souls may be set free — 
Pray for me. 

I beg of you, I beg of you, my brothers, 

For an alms this very day ; 
I am standing on your doorstep as a Beggar 

Who will not be turned away, 
And the Charity you give my soul shall be — 
Pray for me ! 




LINKS WITH HEAVEN, 413 



LINKS WITH HEAVEN. 

[]UR God in Heaven, from that holy place, 
To each of us an Angel guide has 
given ; 
U But Mothers of dead children have more 
grace, — 
For they give Angels to their God and Heaven. 

How can a Mother's heart feel cold or weary- 
Knowing her dearer self safe, happy, warm ? 

How can she feel her road too dark or dreary, 
Who knows her treasure sheltered from the storm. 

How can she sin ? Our hearts may be unheeding, 
Our God forgot, our holy Saints defied ; 

But can a mother hear her dead child pleading, 
And thrust those little angel hands aside ? 

Those little hands stretched down to draw her evet 
Nearer to God by mother love : — we all 

Are blind and weak, yet surely she can never, 
With such a stake in Heaven, fail or fall. 

She knows that when the mighty Angels raise 
Chorus in Heaven, one little silver tone 

Is hers forever, that one little praise, 
One little happy voice, is aU her own. 

We may not see her sacred crown of honor, 
But all the Angels flitting to and fro 



4 i 4 HOMELESS. 

Pause smiling as they pass, — they look upon her 
As mother of an angel whom, they know, 

One whom they left nestled at Mary's feet, — 
The children's place in Heaven, — who softly singa 

A little chant to please them, slow and sweet, 
Or smiling strokes their little folded wings ; 

Or gives them Her white lilies or Her beads 

To play with : — yet, in spite of flower or song, 

They often lift a wistful look that pleads 

And asks Her why their mother stays so long. 

Then our dear Queen makes answer she will call 
Her very soon : meanwhile they are beguiled 

To wait and listen while She tells them all 
A story of Her Jesus as a child. 

Ah, Saints in Heaven may pray with earnest will 
And pity for their weak and erring brothers : 

Yet there is prayer in Heaven more tender still, — 
The little Children pleading for their Mothers. 



HOMELESS. 

T is cold, dark midnight, yet listen 

To that patter of tiny feet ! 

Is it one of your dogs, fair lady, 

Who whines in the bleak cold street! 
Is it one of your silken spaniels 

Shut out in the snow and the sleet? 




HOMELESS. 415 

My dogs sleep warm in their baskets, 
Safe from the darkness and snow ; 

All the beasts in our Christian England, 
Find pity wherever they go — 

(Those are only the homeless children. 
Who are wandering to and fro). 

Look out in the gusty darkness, — 

I have seen it again and again, 
That shadow, that flits so slowly 

Up and down past the window pane : — 
It is surely some criminal lurking 

Out there in the frozen rain ? 

Nay, our criminals all are sheltered, 
They are pitied and taught and fed : 

That is only a sister-woman 

Who has got neither food nor bed, — 

And the Night cries, " Sin to be living/' 
And the River cries, " Sin to be dead/' 

Look out at that farthest corner 

Where the wall stands blank and bare : -* 
Can that be a pack which a Pedler 

Has left and forgotten there ? 
His goods lying out unsheltered 

Will be spoilt by the damp night-air. 

Nay; — goods in our thrifty England 
Are not left to lie and grow rotten, 

For each man knows the market valuo 
Of silk or woollen or cotton. , . 

But in counting the riches of England 
I think our Poor are forgotten. 



4 i 6 HOMELESS. 

Our Beasts and our Thieves and our Chattel* 
Have weight for good or for ill ; 

But the Poor are only His image, 
His presence, His word, His will ; — 

And so Lazarus lies at our doorstep 
And Dives neglects him stilL 




Cambridge: Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Cow 



II 



]